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In case you missed it, we wanted to highlight a post from the Facebook group for alumni and students of New Beginnings Doula Training. This particular post illustrated one of our core objectives at New Beginnings – to bridge the gap between doulas and medical personnel to better assist mothers in labor.

From the Facebook group post:

How do you handle a nurse that you don’t love? One that is high strung and worse case scenario and makes every thing a big thing? Then kicks me out of the room for an epidural… is that standard?

  • C. B.  It is standard for only one support person, in addition to a nurse and the anesthesiologist, to be allowed in the room during an epidural at hospitals in my area. Usually, that means the baby’s father (if present) stays with mom instead, although I have heard of a client asking the doula to stay instead of her husband. While I was giving birth, though, I did have a nurse wrongfully make everyone leave the room.
  • S. P.  This nurse is very big on making sure her authority is known. After such a beautiful birth yesterday this one makes me sad. Poor mom has all her options taken away 
  • R. L.  This is where building relationships makes a difference. When the hospital staff gets to know and trust you, they are more willing to make accommodations. Also, you can always request a different nurse, but you have to make sure it comes from the mother and that is what she wants. Scenarios like this are hard. Trust is a huge issue between doulas and medical staff right now, though, and it is my hope that we can help bridge that gap.
  • S. P.  Thanks ladies…the nurse had her sign for a c section while I was out of the room…just incase she needs one. I just feel like the nurse is pushing and rooting for the outcome instead of mom.

    R., you are right, this is my first birth at this hospital.

  • H. L. P.  I had that situation, and so I asked if I could talk with the nurse. We stepped outside and I just said that I wanted her to know that I was on “their” side (meaning the hospital staff) and that I wanted us to be able to work together. She saw that I wasn’t trying to just undermine her ‘authority’ and helped someone with the situation.
  • S. P.  Okay, the best news is the baby is here!! Mom definitely almost had herself a c-section but pushed like an expert and crisis adverted…also, after I handed my sheet off to said nurse to be filled out she wanted to talk to me about what I was learning in my training and who I worked for and under. Then she told me she disliked working with doulas and most try to undermine her authority which now makes complete sense why she was being very authoritative towards me. After we talked she told me that after certification she would love to have a call sheet for me [to give to] moms on the floor that are interested in doulas…so while it didn’t start well, it clearly ended well and I’d say it’s the start of an okay relationship!


Follow Rachel Leavitt:

Rachel has worked as a register nurse (BSN from University of Utah) since 2004 with a work history in Labor and Delivery, NICU and Postpartum Care. She is also the founder of New Beginnings Doula Training which she organized in 2011. When she's not busy being a mother and grandmother, she can be found reading research papers related to some aspect of childbirth.

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