One of the big questions that we get asked at Mother to Mother Midwifery during our interview process is ” Do I need a doula at our homebirth?”
The short answer? Yes
We as midwives have very refined doula skills. We know what words to use, what touch works, positions for you to get into, how to engage the father in the process, we know about aromatherapy, homeopathies etc…. We do all of the things that a doula does.
What we can’t do is provide that support continuously as a good doula does.
We ask that you have an extra person at your birth especially for first time mothers and you will frequently hear us say that we can provide some labor support but our focus is on the clinical aspects of labor, birth and postpartum. We ebb and flow in our physical support, always on alert for you and the baby but we can’t always be hands on. Often we need to conserve our energy and focus for the important moments of the baby’s emergence and the postpartum period. This means that we may rest while you labor and we are doing other clinical things while you may need hip squeezes.
Do we need to pay for one? That depends…
We have a regular and low cost doula list in the office. You don’t need to pay for one but…
We encourage you to have someone who has experienced natural birth, ideally in a home setting. We ask that the person have some labor support skills and some awareness of what it is to be on continuous call for someone.
That person could be a close family member or a friend as well. As long as they possess the above, then you will have a solid team of support.
For 2nd and subsequent babies we just ask that you have someone that is not your partner there if your other kids are in the house with you. Most laboring mother’s want their partner with them, not looking after the toddler, so the third person fills another role for the family.
It is one of our big topic at prenatal visits.
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