Saturday, 26 February 2011

I really wish I had a Doula at my Birth, here's why...

When we settled into our then new home and I started planning my home water birth I knew I wanted a Doula to be part of my birthing care team.

I started searching for a Doula, I was even happy to have the support of a doula trainee. I couldn't find a Doula who would charge less than £250 to support at my home birth. We couldn't afford this, I was devastated and also a bit angry. I really missed the support of a Doula at my Birth, there was a definate role she would have fulfilled. * I am flexible with costing, discuss it with me *. 

I went into labour on a monday night, I was in my 40th week of pregnancy and had experienced 5 practice labours so dh and I knew it would be soon. In preparation for the upcoming birth and in order to get all his work done  dh worked extra late and went in extra early the monday I went into labour. Consequently he was bushed when he got home and in the early hours of tuesday morning I sent him to go catch some zzzzz's in preparation for the long labouring day ahead. At this point my midwife had come and gone, with some wise words basically letting me know that I needed to get a grip, this was just the beginning. Your midwife will most likely not be able to be with you in early labour and the Labour & Delivery of your hospital ward will send you home.

At this point let me say I found my early labour the hardest to deal with. I really could have done with a Doula to help me through early labour. I got through it but it was a bit lonely breathing through my contractions in a darkened room whilst dh got some much needed rest.

I think it is important for pregnant moms to bear in mind that your partner/mom/sister may not be able to give you the support you need at some point during your labour. This is not because they don't love you or don't want to, on the contrary I think its because they love you so much that they struggle to see you in labour pain and sometimes don't really know how to support you in fear of either angering you or somehow making it worse (Think about it, how many labours and births have they supported at, having a baby is not the same as supporting a mom have her own baby). A Doula on the other hand is more objective and intrinsically understands that labour and birth are a journey and can walk the road with you and offer you support in various ways without fear of reprisal. Plus Doulas have a much larger knowledge and experience base to work from, as well as tried and tested comfort measures. A Doula can also help by directing your birth partners to better support you.

Just a thought :)

Are you interested in finding out more about what part a Doula could play in your birthing support team? Drop me an email. Doulatam (at) gmail (dot) com

PS: I am based in West Lothian Scotland

Friday, 25 February 2011

Watch Your Words

A twitter friend posted a tweet this morning discussing her symptoms of pregnancy. Which got me thinking.

Why do we call the natural signs of pregnancy Symptoms? The definition of Symptom: Sign of Illness or Problem ( Is that really how a new mother wants to view her budding pregnancy, to refer to the unborn child in her womb as a problem or illness. Even if you think one step further and argue that you are not referring to her baby but to the process of carrying and growing life in a womb... As problematic or as an illnessn it is still fraught with negative connotations.

Pregnancy is a natural process, a beautiful amazing process. It is not a problem or illness, if it is viewed as such, then human beings will want to heal it or solve it. You cannot heal or solve a pregnancy. You may believe that you are stronger than that, but that doubt will sit in the back of your mind and niggle, it will surface at the most inopportune time like at the end of your pregnancy when you are preparing to give birth. If you have generally viewed your body in a positive light during pregnancy, that will carry through to labour and birth. If however you get to 40+ weeks discussing pregnancy as a problem or illness, it is likely that you will search out a solution in the form of medical intervention.

We define our experience of this world with the words we use. Choose your words wisely.

Alternatives to Pregnancy Symptoms:
- expressions of pregnancy
- manifestations of pregnancy
- tokens of pregnancy
- evidence of pregnancy

Discuss your "bodies expression of your pregnancy", FTW!