Friday, July 10, 2009

Doula love

Interview with a mom on why she chose a doula and what her doula did for her:

I think the best thing about Kym was the way she stood up for us at the hospital. We did not anticipate that we would be intimidated (who would?) as it turned out we were. When the nurses (and later the doctor) pressured us to succumb to their wishes, Kym was assertive enough to argue with them. I don’t think Jon was quite up to it at the time. It was all pretty ridiculous, but these are the important things. One nurse wanted me to have an IV, despite what my doctor had agreed to in our birth plan, and continued to argue that I was going to get dehydrated. So while I was in transition, Kym and the nurse had an argument about whether one could stave off dehydration by drinking water.

Yup, that sounds about right. I was once with a mom who had a nurse try to convince her that she needed an IV because "labor is like running a marathon". The mom said "I used to be a marathon runner and I'll stay hydrated the same way I did then - by drinking water a little bit at a time!" That mom knew what she wanted and was assertive but as she got farther into labor and complications cropped up, I like to think it helped to have me and the other doula who was with her there. We were able to run a little interference, back her up when needed, talk through options with her, and reassure her that she was making OK choices. I think that's what a doula does for a lot of women/families: reassure them that what they want is not crazy, that they do not need to be intimidated, and that things are proceeding normally.

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