going to better birth? better bring a doula

from better birth’s FAQ:

What is a doula, and do I need one?

A doula is a professional labor support person. We love doulas! While we highly recommend you hire a doula if you are planning a hosptial birth, the type of labor support offered by a doula is an inherent part of the services your BetterBirth team will provide, and it is not necessary to hire a separate doula. However, if you prefer to have someone specifically focusing on that role, or if you have a special person you want to be your doula at your birth, we welcome her as part of the team.

Compare this to the top yellow pages review of better birth:

Over the next few hours, they would come in, check things then leave, but wouldn’t tell us anything. It was extremely frustrating! They made me stay in one particularly horrible position because my son had moved and was now in the wrong position. I was in that position for HOURS! I was in so much pain, I had mentally checked out of the birth. It was so painful I couldn’t think or even breath sometimes. During this time, they did nothing to help, just told me to lower my voice to my chest because it would help with the pain.

Or you could try this review:

Worse yet, the one midwife I knew and really liked and trusted (Sarah) spent most of her time outside the room. I was left with a Certified Nurse Midwife that I had never met and 2 students I had never met. It left me completely afraid. Worse still is the HUGE lack of communication between myself and the midwives/students.

That doesn’t sound like any doula I’ve met.

This mirrors my experience. I was not encouraged and things weren’t explained to me. I had spent a good two years researching childbirth and care models so I expected to be treated kindly, to be encouraged, and be told that things are normal (if they are). None of that happened. It was almost as if the midwife was annoyed that I was in labor and just wanted me to go away.

Unlike these reviewers I did hire a doula and I am so thankful that I did. The team at better birth did not welcome her as part of my team at all. She was crowded out of the room during exams and was therefore unable to advocate for me. Neither of us thought that she would need to be in there, because of the way that Better Birth advertises its services.  My doula regrets not being in there as much as I do, and she has learned that the title “midwife” doesn’t mean a lot sometimes. better birth’s materials specifically tell you that its your birth, that there is no “everyone has to…” at better birth, but that didn’t pan out for me either. The more I read reviews online of Better Birth, the more I think this is a pattern. They are clinical and cold towards women in labor, at a time when they need warmth and comfort. It is a very vulnerable time for women.

If you ignore everything else on this blog please heed this warning: hire a doula if you are going to use Better Birth. Don’t enter the exam room in your labor without her. 

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One comment

  1. They seem to have an aweful lot of people around for births…why so many?

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