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July Doula Tips - Day 10 - Talk to client's about who they want in the laboring/birthing room

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Mamas need to carefully consider who they invite.  Everyone in the room needs to be fully supportive of mamas wishes.  Has anyone ever seem a family member frown at a laboring mama? I know I have! I have had to gently remind partners and family that their facial expressions say a lot.  No frowns!

Share your tips about discussing birth preferences with clients or about dealing with family in the room?

Jill Thompson Wilkey the one I struggle with is the mom-to-be's mom in the room crying and saying "oh my poor baby!!" because of the pain. When moms hear that, their strenght wavers. I have to coach them to tell her how strong she is and encourage her rather then feeling sorry for her.
Enza Cicero-Lilley On the other hand, many cultures believe in many women by their side. I have doula-ed for Ethiopian and Filipino women and we have had as many as 10 women in the room encouraging and telling stories.  It was an amazing experience!
Nicole McKay I also make it mandatory that anyone who is attending the birth, attends the prenatal visits. I want them to know what mama's wishes are and I want them to know how we will support the birthing mom in her work. This is especially true if the other people haven't been to a birth similar to the one mom is envisioning (including their own birth experiences).
Tomecas Gibson Thomas If the mom wants as many in the room with her, then that is fine. I would encourage why they are there to support the mother in all aspects instead of sitting around doing nothing. Most of the time, others that are in the room are not paying the mom any attention and when she is in pain, they ask crazy questions like "Are you in pain? You want me to call the nurse?" When they can jump in and help. So I encourage them to help.
Angela Horn I develop a code word that the client can say that lets me know that she would like the room cleared of visitors.  I also talk prenatally about how having people in the room can inhibit labor and that if I see that happening I will bring it up with mom or her partner.  If they choose to keep everyone in the room after that, it's ok with me since they're making an informed decision to keep them
Leigh Jansen With my home birth I wrote a letter to all the ladies I had invited to be there. It may be a good idea to encourage our moms to do the same. Here it's the letter: Http://www.giving-birth-naturally.net/open-letter.html

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