Post # 1
While I’m hesitant to do any major baby preparations being so newly pregnant, one thing I am comfortable doing is setting out to modify our budget and one things I want to budget for is a doula. I know that I want to try for a natural birth in a hospital, with my family medicine/ob who I’ve seen for the last five years.
My insurance will reimburse up to $200 for a doula. In my area, doulas charge tier-level pricing based on the number of births they’ve attended with new doulas (1-3 births) charging about $200, highly-experienced doulas (150+ births) charging over $1000, with the average being around $600 (50 births). We could swing paying at the top level but I’m not sure its worth it! How much did you pay if you don’t mind sharing? How much does experience matter to you? Is it more about personality or prior training?
I am also considering having my mom support us in labor because she is an obstetrics nurse, taught childbirth classes for decades, she had two natural births herself and she has supported about 5 friends/family members in labor. BUT I’m not 100% sure I can count on her to hold it together emotionally, so I want a doula, an objective outsider who knows the hospital, regardless. A local baby store offers free doula speed-dating, which will allow me to meet a ton of doulas at once. Hilarious and awesome, right?
Post # 3
I think the doula speed-dating sounds like a fantastic idea! Seriously, how well you click with a doula is probably the most important thing. Experience is obviously also really important, but I’ve also read stories about people who hired very experienced doulas and were disappointed because they felt like they were “just another client” and didn’t really develop a personal connection that this was a trusted ally they could count on in labor. I would say, look for someone who at least has some baseline experience, but between a moderately-experienced doula I clicked with and a highly-experienced one that I didn’t, I’d definitely go with the former.
Post # 4
I can not express how highly I would recommend a doula!
I work for a hospital so I was able to take advantage of their volunteer doula program. I was paired with two senior year nursing students who have taken the doula course. They were inexperienced in that they had observed births but had not yet been a doula.
I found them to be EXTREMELY helpful. They helped keep me focused and motivated, they supported my husband so he could better support me. They had a “bag of tricks” so to speak… aromatherapy, warm and cool compresses, tennis balls for massage, etc.
I feel like even though they weren’t highly experienced, their help, support, and encouragement were absolutely priceless.
I would very highly suggest interviewing people and finding someone who makes you feel comfortable.