I had never heard of a doula until a couple years ago. A friend of mine from high school got married and started a family at a young age, and has since become a doula and a Hypnobabies instructor. After looking more into it, I decided that along with a midwife-attended home birth, I would like to hire a doula to support both me and Luke during pregnancy and childbirth.
Judy, our midwife, gave me a couple recommendations, but put one at the top of the list. Teresa Fischer is not only a certified doula, but she teaches childbirth classes and shoots photos at the birth when she is not doing her doula duties! We met with her yesterday, and were impressed at her experience and approach. She believes strongly that a birth can be an intimate bonding time between a man and woman (and their baby!) and that it isn’t her place to get in the way of the relationship or push the husband out of the way to support the birthing mother. I think Luke responded very positively to that- he is so thrilled about my pregnancy and the baby on the way, and he’d love to be as involved as possible without “coaching” me.
Talking about “coaching,” I was reading a little about the Bradley method the other day, and while I am all for my husband being involved, I don’t want anyone “coaching” me or telling me what to do including him. I love the idea of him giving me massages during labor and supporting me however I need, and hopefully catching the baby!
Anyway, back to the Doula… Teresa was great- laid back, experienced, supportive, and the cats even liked her! Martigan kept rubbing up against her while we were chatting at the table haha.
Something interesting we learned: During home births, sometimes animals can have interesting reactions to a woman in labor. Teresa recounted a couple stories… Some animals get very confused and defensive, thinking someone is hurting the woman. With no violent history, dogs have even attacked a laboring woman’s husband because they think he is causing her pain! (I guess in a way it is his fault though, eh? 😉
In another story, during one woman’s labor, her dog labored alongside her. The dog would walk back and forth down the hallway with her, moan with her during contractions, and pant with her heavy breathing. It just couldn’t understand why it wasn’t allowed in the bedroom when the birthing time had arrived!
All in all, I am psyched about our meeting and am comfortable with who all will be attending the birth. Granted there are no major complications, my baby’s birth should be just what I am hoping for!