Doula or no doula?

Hey all, This is my first post as I’ve just joined and so please to have found this group! I was feeling alone. Anyway, long story short: my partner has been struggling to accept that I’m keeping the baby (he wanted abortion). He is coming round slowly but I am not forcing any responsibilities onto him too much as he is experiencing anxiety and depression. His mental health matters too. One thing I’m upset about is he said he will be at the birth but he will be in the waiting room. He won’t be in there with me supporting me or helping me etc. This is making me feel very alone. I was trying to find useful podcasts and I came across one who is a Doula. She explained in the podcast what a doula is and what they do and it sounds perfect for what I need! I found a Doula in Norfolk and spoke to her on the phone where she then told me what she charges. I nearly fell off my chair! My Bupa insurance won’t cover this it there is financial help via the midwife I could have tapped into. I called my midwife and asked about a referral given my circumstances and she said firstly I’m out of luck (sounds like there is no financial support for a doula at this time) and she wondered why I even felt like I would be alone. She said about my Midwife and I wouldn’t be alone but now I don’t know what to do. The Doula is happy to work with me money wise so I can come to a payment arrangement and they sound so great. They don’t leave your side, they do any talking for you so you can just be in the zone etc. This is my first pregnancy so I have no idea what birth will be like in a birth centre in hospital. Will my midwife be at my side the whole time? Will she be waking off to help others also giving birth? Do midwives offer the support a Doula would?? Id love to leave the work for my Midwife and save the money! But I equally don’t want to be alone without a Doula. Please help x
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I have no experience with a doula however during my first labour my midwife was amazing and stayed with me through everything! Initially I was having a water birth but struggled so moved to the labour ward and had an epidural (midwife moved with me) then the baby became distressed and I had to have an emergency c section again my midwife stayed with me during the c section and worked past her finish time until I was settled on the ward afterwards. Can’t comment on every midwife doing this but I had a very positive experience x

I say do it, it will be worth it! No experience personally but for my first birth I was basically neglected for 5 days. They would come in once a day for another pessary and once for a cervix check then otherwise left me to it. I wasn’t even told if there was a shower or bath to use, I was walking around the hospital all night for those first 4 by myself having contractions trying to get things going. It was Hard, and I had my husband there during the day. Some friends have had really good experiences with their doulas.

Do you have friend or family member that could be a birth partner? With my daughter my ex husband was physically there but useless. Luckily my sister was there too and she was my rock. Also had amazing midwives who were around a lot as it was my first.

My husband was with me throughout my first labour, but I also had a midwife in the room with me the whole time, so I wouldn't have been alone. Do you think when it comes to it, your partner really will just sit in the waiting room? Do you have a friend or family member that could be with you?

I’d like to clarify to all that there is no one else I can have with me. I have no sisters, no friends close enough I’d want to ask and my mum is too ill to support me.

My midwife was with me the whole time, except for her lunch break but she made sure I was settled and okay before she left. Not everyone has an amazing experience or midwife but I couldn’t fault mine.

If you can afford it then the doula would be amazing. I have a supportive partner and I would still love to have a doula at my birth! They do work with you in the build up to birth. You can build up a relationship with her when it is totally pot luck which midwife you will get on the day. Also, the rates of needing medical intervention are so much lower with a doula present. Xx

I think if youve been this worried about not having the right support with you to do all that research then it sounds like the benefits outweigh the financial burden for you? If you think you can afford it with payment plan in light of other costs you'll need to pay for baby after birth then you should. I'm really sorry to hear your feeling alone, great you've joined this group x

For my first birth I had a brilliant midwife for the first 8 hours, but then the shift changed and I had a terrible one, which changed my whole experience. I can’t speak to doulas, but I think if I was going it alone and could afford to, the peace of knowing you’re going to have someone there for you through the whole thing could be well worth it. Xx

Hey! Your midwife might be able to make a referral through ‘Doulas without borders’. It’s a charity and doula volunteer free of charge. Good luck!

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