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Working with a doula for labour and birth

  1. #1
    TinyTomsMomma is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2012
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    Working with a doula for labour and birth

    Hi Mommies!

    Just thought I'd share my experience with having a doula/birth support person present for the birth of my little boy 7 weeks ago.

    I went to A Mother's Touch in Central (http://www.amotherstouch.com.hk/) to get more information about doulas and what their roles are. A friend in Singapore highly recommended working with one, as she had a great experience with both her pregnancies.

    There, I met with Liz Purnell-Webb, who's great. She talked me and my husband through what doulas typically do and I was sold. She also introduced me to Rhonda Coleman, a newly-joined doula in Hong Kong, who'd been doing birth support for some years in the Middle East. Rhonda was the one present during the birth of my son.

    I went into labour a week earlier. When I was about 2cm dilated, my doctor suggested putting me on a drip to hasten the contractions for fear that my labour might end up too drained to push my baby at 3am (this conversation happened at 8.30am). I panicked because I had my mind set on having as natural a birth as possible, without any medical intervention. Plus, being on drip meant that I would be confined to the delivery room.

    I immediately talked to Rhonda and she suggested going outside for a walk to think the decision over. Hubby and I did and by the time we concluded our walk, my contractions got stronger and there was no longer a need to be on drip.

    I have to say that having Rhonda with me during labour and the birth was the best thing I could have done. That, coupled with attending childbirth classes, really helped me have a positive birth experience. I went from having intense, keep-me-up-awake-at-night fears about birthing a little person to actually looking forward to the experience.

    Rhonda was there with me and hubby from the moment early contractions started to the end. We had conversations, she offered words of encouragement throughout and took me out on walks to take my mind off the growing contractions. When we were not outside and confined to the delivery room, she made it a very relaxed environment.

    The doula not only helped me immensely during this time, but provided much-needed comfort for my super supportive husband as well. If anything, it was a relief for him knowing that there was someone there who had gone through this whole experience herself.

    I suppose one could do the whole birth experience without the help of a doula or birth support person. Looking back at my experience, though, I don't think I would have been able to go it alone. For that reason alone, I'd recommend having a doula with you, especially if it's your first child and you want a calm, positive, non-threatening environment into which you'd like your child to enter.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions and/or concerns you might have on the subject, so please don't hesitate to drop me a line or to comment.

    Would also like to hear other mums' experience with doulas here in HK.

    I wish you a beautiful birth :-)

  2. #2
    Sapphire40 is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2012
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    Hi,

    I'm intrigued - what exactly does a doula do? And how does this differ from a midwife? I am pretty ignorant on this subject!

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    TinyTomsMomma is offline Registered User
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    A doula doesn't necessarily have the medical experience/background that a midwife does. What she is, is basically a "birth support person" - she's in the labour room with you, talking you through your labour, talking to nervous dad through the labor and offering a calming addition to a stressful environment. They can't make medical decisions for you, but they can help you weigh your options based on your birth plan (if you have one).

    In my case, my doula even rubbed my back the whole time I was birthing my son. She talked me through my contractions, encouraging me to breathe through them, running out to get me water if and when I needed it, and explained what was going on to hubby.

    I guess had I not gone with a doula, I would have said "yes" to that drip to hasten my contractions (which she later explained was probably not necessary because the body needs to "get used" to contractions getting stronger), probably would have said "yes" to have my labour induced and generally would have been a complete wreck. But because she was there, I had as close to the birth I wanted as possible (per birth plan).

  4. #4
    zany500 is offline Registered User
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    Nov 2008
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    Central
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    100% agree with you TinyTomsMomma, I had a doula as well for the birth of my 2nd child, and she was amazing! could not have done all this great "natural" work without her around. I will never recommend enough to have a doula supporting you during labor and birth! Mums, get a doula!
    I've had Jeanne from Birth Story (www.doulabirthstory.com), she was very comprehensive and gentle.

  5. #5
    giginium is offline Registered User
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    Hi all

    Is it possible to invite a doula into the birthing room in either a public or private hospital?

  6. #6
    zany500 is offline Registered User
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    Sure in private hospital should be no problem. Double check with your Dr. Public hospital is generally not possible as only 1 person is allowed in the delivery room

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