|Meet the Doulas
Each month you have an opportunity to meet doulas from “Heart and Hands” Doula Service. It is the 2nd Tuesday of each month 7 – 8 pm at the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh 4070 Beechwood Blvd. in Greenfield (15217). We’ll be in the part of the plaza closest to Beechwood Blvd. – look for our sign and some balloons.
Refreshments will be served. Please let us know if you plan to come.
Archive for the ‘Why have a doula?’ Category
Your doula will help you prepare for the important tasks of birth and breastfeeding and being a new mother. Sometimes mothers don’t know how their medical and mental health pasts can effect their birthing outcomes. Here are some important issues to share with your doula:
- Previous major surgeries, they can effect you physically and your confidence in a birth setting
- Previous cryo-surgery or cerclage on your cervix which can effect your cervix opening during birth
- Previous births or miscarriages
- previous depression or bi-polar disorder which can effect postpartum depression
- Past history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse which can be triggered during labor
- Big stressors that have recently come into your life
- Previous breast surgeries which can effect breastfeeding
- Difficulties in getting pregnant
In a private setting, discuss these subjects with your doula. Your history will be part of what effects your birth and how you feel about it. Then your doula can help you choose strategies which will work best for your situation.
This is The Birth of Mary by Domenico Ghirlandiao (1449-1494 Florence). Notice how many doulas are attending the mother at her birth. One of them holds the new baby as another prepares the bath. Although this is supposed to show a Jewish birth taking place before the birth of Christ, notice how the painter depicts a scene more likely found in 15th Century Florence than in Biblical times. Ghirlandiao is showing us his birth culture and it involves doulas supporting the laboring woman.
All births are special but twin births are more so. In our area, the largest percentage of twins births are cesarean births. A twin pregnancy is always classified as a “high risk” pregnancy. There are two outcomes more likely with twin births in our area, first — prematurity and second a cesarean birth.
If you are pregnant with twins a doula can help you before, during and after your births. If you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy you greatly increase your likelihood of staying pregnant to 37 weeks or longer. Your doula can also help you prepare your best possible choice for birthing. If you are hoping for a vaginal twin birth, the alignment of the twins is the most important thing. Also, choose your caregiver with care. Some OB’s have experience with twin vaginal births and some do not. Find one who does and who will help you with yours.
After your babies are born, a doula can help you with breastfeeding, both in the hospital and at home. Breastfeeding twins might seem daunting at first, but once you have mastered your technique it will save you loads of time and money! It will also help you with bonding and nurturing your twins. So get support early and then enjoy!
I saw a podcast from one mother, Jen, describing her experience with her second birth, a scheduled cesarean. Her doctor assured her that 37 weeks’ gestation was long enough for a cesarean, and her child was actually born at week 38. However, her child was not ready to be born and was in the NICU for two weeks — the time it would have taken him to get to full term, 40 weeks.
One of the things that troubled her was that she didn’t even know the questions she should have been asking her doctor until after she had all her problems. A pregnant woman relies upon the sound medical advice of her caregiver. Yet she also has to be an informed consumer. We talk about how to be an informed consumer of healthcare in detail in our book Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way.
A woman’s doula will usually help her with the information she needs to access situations that she hasn’t already thought of. Because a doula deals with different doctors and midwives who practice in different ways, she should have good insight into the kinds of questions a mom should ask if scheduling a cesarean is a decision she needs to make. Doulas do help moms avoid unnecessary cesareans. Then if a mom does need a cesarean, she can feel more confident that it was a necesssary cesarean.