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Entries in scheduled cesareans (1)

Thursday
Mar032011

Doulas... LISTEN UP!

I received this letter last night from a woman who doesn't live in my area, but who found something on my Navelgazing Midwife (Monitrice-Doula) site that she had to tell me about. Here is her letter:

I just wanted to let you know how rare it is to see a doula advertise her services to a scheduled c/s mom.

I am looking for a doula for my to-be-scheduled-at-some-point c/s and haven't been able to find ONE in my area that mentions anything about c/s on their websites other than how to avoid them. Not a single one discusses how they can help mothers birthing by planned c/s.

I've seen plenty of judgment on sections and discussion on how they can help you not have another.

I've seen lots of support for VBAC moms, but not a peep for repeat c/s moms.

I've honestly given up on having a doula because I am a) completely comfortable with my repeat section and don't feel any need to justify it to the doula's satisfaction that I really NEED one and b) I don't want anyone there at my birth who doesn't want to be there because they think I should be VBACing.

I don't have a single problem explaining what happened at my first birth and why my very complicated obstetric history leads to another section, but I don't want to justify it, if that makes sense. When I saw that you actually describe the services you provide to C/S moms, I was very moved, especially after not finding a single one here that does that. I live in <another state>, or I would have already booked you.

After I read her letter, I had to go to my own site to see what I had said that touched her. I honestly couldn't remember saying anything terribly detailed or focused on this topic. What I found was a simple blurb that reads:

Cesarean - If you're having a scheduled cesarean, I come with you in the morning and won't leave until you're successfully nursing or, if your baby is in the NICU, make sure you've at least seen pictures of your new baby and are comfortable and resting.

That's it. That one sentence made a huge difference in one woman's upcoming birth experience -and she doesn't even live here!

I'm not sure if it's a side effect of years of experience or a glitch in the doula training system that helps me see that much larger picture than many (most!) doulas are blind to. Why are doulas so hell-bent on having only clients that want a natural birth? Why can't they be cool with a woman who wants someone with her even if she knows she wants an epidural? Doesn't this smack of pushing one's own agenda?

How do we fix this?