Here are some thoughts about what Birth Plans DO and what they DON’T DO:
Birth Plans: Do they work?
So you have a Birth Plan signed by your carefully chosen care provider: All set, right? Well… maybe not… because: Who’s on call?
Here are some thoughts about what Birth Plans DO and what they DON’T DO:
"Only with trust, faith, and support can a woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her." ~ Penny Simkin
UPDATE July 2019. Although we still feel strongly that UABs so called "Doula Partnership Agreement" interferes with the doula/client relationship and is a detriment to providing the best doula care, BirthWise has started to accept clients going to UAB on a limited basis. Please contact us if you need a doula. And still read this blog.
in service ~ BirthWise Doulas
BirthWise in Birmingham, as a group of doulas serving mothers in Birmingham, Anniston and Tuscaloosa, have decided to stop providing labor support at UAB hospital. We would like to explain why:
BirthWise doulas pledge to uphold the DONA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice governing a doula’s behavior, ethics and scope of practice. DONA is the oldest and most recognized doula certifying organization nationally, and has developed this code and these standards to assure doulas behave in a professional manner and provide the best services possible. If a client, OB, nurse or hospital should have a complaint about a doula’s actions, DONA has a grievance procedure in place.
As doulas, we believe a woman has the right and competence to choose the members of her labor support team. This includes the right to hire the doula of her choice, based on her personal priorities and preferences. It also includes the right to bring her doula with her to the hospital to provide continuous labor support.
Furthermore, BirthWise doulas enter into a contractual agreement (here's our contract) with our clients. We are not employed by a hospital or particular provider. Research has shown that the benefits of doula support on maternal/fetal outcomes and satisfaction are greatest when doulas work independently of hospitals (Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth and see more research about doulas here). We believe that we are able to establish trust and provide the best support for our clients when we work independently.
UAB has recently instituted a policy requiring doulas and doula clients to sign UAB documents that were drafted without doula input. All patients are now being asked to sign “Information for Patients and Families Regarding Doulas”, and all doulas must sign a “Doula Partnership Agreement". The “Doula Partnership Agreement” is essentially a contract between the doula and the hospital that was created without the input of doulas or doula clients. Being required to sign this agreement conflicts with our doula-client contract, infringes on our ability to practice our profession according to the full scope of our practice, and therefore prevents us from providing the best care possible for our clients.
We believe these documents come between ourselves and our doula clients. They create an environment of distrust, rather than one of mutual respect and collaboration between doulas and hospital staff.
Therefore, regretfully, as long as UAB’s regulatory policy remains in place, we cannot, in good conscience, provide labor support at UAB hospital.
Birmingham is fortunate to have many options for pregnancy and birth. Among these there are many who recognize the positive emotional and clinical impact a doula can have before, during, and after birth. We would be happy to point you to a provider or facility that recognizes the patient's right to choose her own birth team without interfering in the contractual relationship with the doula she chooses.
Planning your birth?
One of your most important decisions will be WHERE you choose to have your baby.
If you choose a hospital, you have SEVEN different options here in Birmingham.
So how to decide?
Well, what are you looking for?
Do you want to labor in the tub or in the shower? Do you want your hospital to supply you with a birth ball or peanut ball? Do you want to have the option to push using a squat bar? Do you want access to wireless monitoring so you can have freedom to move around the room, and even down the halls, while you labor?
To help you make this important decision we have created a chart comparing available options. We hope this will be an EASY way for you to compare hospitals and use this information to inform your decision.
Questions? Don't hesitate to contact us, we would be happy to help!
The Birth of Alliah
I guess my story starts with the birth of my oldest daughter. She was breech, so they were planning a cesarean but we had some complications and she was born born via Emergency CS, due to placental abruption in January 2010.
When I got pregnant with my second daughter, I knew I wanted a VBAC. My doctor told me that I was a perfect candidate, but we would "see how things were further along". Flash forward to 37 weeks (November 2011), my water broke and I went into labor naturally. I labored at home most of the day and then went on to the hospital.
Doulas are for Dads too!
It is very common for dads to feel as if they might be replaced or pushed aside if he and his partner choose to hire a doula. But, the reality is that the idea of fathers in the delivery room is a very recent expectation. For many years, dads have been the keepers of the waiting room - pacing the floors and grabbing updates from hurried nurses until the announcement finally came that he was the proud father of a new baby boy or baby girl. Then he was brought into the room where his tired wife was sitting up in bed holding a clean baby all wrapped up in a blanket with a hat on. Fathers were not around for the tougher parts of labor and delivery. No, this is a new scene for dads.
Doulas, on the other hand, have played a critical role in childbirth for many years. While we all have different levels of experience and years of service under our belts, we have all been trained from the knowledge and wisdom passed down from the generations of birth workers before us. We truly love what we do and we are constantly seeking new information and tricks to help us help you. You read that right! Doulas are here to help you too! So without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons that doulas are for dads, too.
The Birth of Holland
Before Adam and I started trying for kids we knew that if we were to have a child, I would have a natural, unmedicated birth. I did a ton of research and reading and I knew that I wanted as little intervention as possible. We believe that pregnancy and birth are very normal and natural processes and we wanted to experience it as such.
If you've been researching doulas, you've no doubt run across quotes like the following.
"A doula provides informational, emotional, and physical support."
"Doulas support your choices during pregnancy, labor, and birth."
"A doula serves as an advocate for laboring women and their families."
But what does a doula actually do during labor?
The word "doula" comes from the Greek word doulē which means "a woman who serves". A modern day doula is just that - a person (usually a woman) who serves women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond.