I need some advice.
Scott and I met with a doula last weekend and we really like her. I relate to her well and she seems to be knowledgeable and experienced. She was referred to me by a friend who used her at her own daughter's birth in January. We did not use a doula at my daughter's birth and met with her not really knowing a lot about what exactly a doula does (or charges) but because she was recommended and I know that a lot of natural birthin' mommas have them present at their births. (I have thought about a midwife as well, but I feel like I am too late in the game already to start researching that.)
My first question for you who know is what is a reasonable price to pay a doula? She says she charges on a sliding scale of $850-$1250. I am assuming that to mean if it is a fast birth and she is only there a couple hours, it would be $850, but if she has to spend a whole day and stay up overnight, she would expect $1250. What are your thoughts on that?
The other issue I am having is with my mother. I delivered my daughter naturally in a hospital without a doula. Scott and my mom were there with me, supporting me. My mom thinks it is a ridiculous idea to pay someone that kind of money to be there at the childbirth when I already have a great support team. I think my mom feels like I am trying to replace her or something, which is not the case. The main thing for me, is that I delivered my daughter in a small hospital. I had the same nurse with me the entire time. That nurse essentially stayed with me (there weren't 10 other women in the labor ward all in labor at the same time.) Plus I knew my own doctor would be there to deliver. This time around, I am delivering at a huge hospital. I hear that the nurses pop in and out and leave you alone much of the time. And to top it off, I will be delivered by whatever OB happens to be there on call at the time. I have about a 5% chance of it being my own OB.
So my thought was that I would like to have someone there with me that I already know, who is experienced and knowledgeable in childbirth, and who will not leave me. But then again, my mom has had three of her own babies naturally and I know she isn't going anywhere until she holds her grandson in her arms! And Mom is an amazing support. She is calm and soothing and cares the world about me (and this baby.) The other thing, though, is I want someone who can intervene for me with any nurse or doctor that might attempt to steer me away from my birth plan--hopefully that doesn't happen, but if it does, I want someone there who can advocate for me.
So I am just not sure what to do. Scott is supportive of whatever I decide. And I think my mom will come around, once she understands that we are not replacing her!
Would love your thoughts!
Usually "sliding scale" refers to income, so she may charge different amounts based on what people can afford. Or maybe it has to do with time. You could ask. I've heard everything from $250-$2,000 for doula services, I guess it just depends on the going rate in that part of the country, and also how experienced the doula is. Those who have just finished their training tend to charge less than those that have been doing this forever. Sounds like your mom will fill some of the role a doula would, but you're right about having someone there to advocate for you, especially at a bigger hospital where there's a good chance you won't know the OB. A doula is also there to support your other support people, and I know our doula was a bigger help to DH than she was for me with DS' birth.
I did not want my mom anywhere near my birth, which she did NOT understand, so I do know what it feels like to have to choose your own needs over someone else's that you care about...but you definitely should prioritize yourself when it comes to your birth. Nothing is more important than what will make you feel the most comfortable and supported, and if that's a doula, and you can afford it, go for it.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
I agree with what everyone else has said. Definitely put yourself first on this one, because it is you that will have to do the hard work, and you that has to be comfortable.
My doula only costs $500, but, that is in small town Michigan... I suppose the prices you quoted seem about right when you adjust for cost of living out your way? Can you afford to pay her that much? (you don't have to tell me, but, is that part of your consideration?)
I will also say, I think my doula supported my support people more during my birth than me. Well, no, she organized them- she met us at my house, and when my mom and husband started to freak out about what was going on with me, she remained calm, and got us to the hospital without drama- she calmed everyone down, etc. I guess in the hospital she was by my side quite a bit, but I know she was making sure my mom and DH (especially) were taking care of themselves too (labor had started middle of the night, DH was EXHAUSTED after having slept very little in the previous days, etc...he needed taking care of!). So yeah... every member of my team had their place. And I'm having the same doula again this time... the only difference in my team this time will be that I asked my mom to look after Beni during labor, whether that means she stays with her at home, or comes to the birth center with us.
Oh, and I was going to add... I know there are some women on this board who have changed providers (from an OB to a MW) as late as 38 weeks. You are far along, but, if you really thought you'd be more comfortable with a midwife, you definitely COULD look for one and make that switch. Maybe some of them will chime in here... but I know some of them say it's the best decision they made in that pregnancy, even though it was very last minute!
Last edited by Marite13; 03-03-2012 at 03:40 AM.
Mara & Joel, 2009
There is a good explanation about how little doulas actually make for the time they put in and why should try to pay doulas what they are worth here: http://spiriteddoula.blogspot.com/20...oula-fees.html
It is very rare to hear of anyone wishing they hadn't hired a doula, but you hear more of people wishing they had hired one, especially with a hospital birth where she can really help you and your husband remember to speak up and stick to your plans when you are busy giving birth and everything around you gets chaotic.
Brittany - Thanks for sharing that blog with me! That was great information. The cost is not really the issue for DH and I, although every cost involved in this new little baby I am trying to take into consideration. If you think about it, you pay the doctor who delivers you A LOT of money (not sure how much because the insurance covers most of the cost) and all he/she does is show up when the baby is about to make an appearance. A doula, on the other hand, is there through it all, WORKING, through it all.
We did decide to go forward and sign contract with her. I am really excited to have her and feeling a lot of relief knowing she will be there!
Thanks for all your wisdom and support!
Oh, yeah that's great, Jenn!!
Mara & Joel, 2009