conflict with nurses? : LUSENET : Doula.Com General Discussion : One Thread

i am a doula-in-training in Berkeley, Ca, and am doing a study for my medical anthropology class on the integration of doulas into mainstream medicine. One of the things i have noticed while volunteering at the local county hospital is that there is a great clash of philosophies between the nurses and the doulas. Some of the nurses have been rude and project a better-than-thou attitude. My question goes out to all doulas who have worked in a hospital or birthing center: what have your experiences with doctors and nurses been (in terms of receptibility or anything else)? How have you learned to deal with it? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. thanks Nadia

-- Nadia Taylor (, November 27, 2001


I have done all of my births at hospital birthing centers, and have found a definate mix in nursing personalities. Most of my births have been at a small hospital, and when I first started I had a hard time with the nurses, but when I showed them that I'm not overbearing and not trying to take their jobs I saw a definate change. Now I really enjoy working there with them. One thing I found has helped is to show them that I'm very knowledgable about the birthing process and the procedures and the other is talking. Talk to the nurses, about working at the hospital, about their OB history, about their doula experiences. You'll have time for it I'm sure... especially if your mom and dad go to the shower or bathroom and don't need you by their side.

Hope this helped!

Amanda Lopes, CD(DONA) DONA State Rep. Alaska

-- Amanda Lopes, CD(DONA) (, November 27, 2001.

I have only attended seven hospital births so far, but have been well received. The nurses generally seem to be thrilled that a doula is there to care for the mom. I have only felt the resistance of one nurse who was trying to control the mom's every decision.

I do not confront the medical staff, nor do I speak for my clients. I do try to befriend the nurses and demonstrate my willingness to help in any way I can.

-- Kellie Fuller (, January 07, 2002.

I too have had a minor difference of opinion but I have found that if I listen to the nurses and compliment them on something they have done they tend to relax toward me.

-- Leila Lindsey (, February 23, 2002.

I am a doula in training in VA. I have had a few bad experiences with nurses myself. What I always try to remember is that nurses are on the cllinical side of birth. They are for the most part not trained on how to NURTURE a woman through childbirth. I have also found it helpful to give a copy of your organizations code of ethics and standards of practice form.

-- Cindy Simpson (, May 04, 2002.

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