To Doula or Not to Doula? — The Bump
April 2020 Moms

To Doula or Not to Doula?

Any mamas considering hiring a doula? Has anyone laboured with a doula in the past?

It's our first baby and typically when I need help my husband asks me what I need, which I know I won't be able to communicate in the moment. I don't know who else from my family and friends I would actually want in the room the whole time. I was thinking of hiring a doula to help be a support for both of us. It's just a lot of money, so I'm curious what people's thoughts are.

Re: To Doula or Not to Doula?

  • @korthouse I’ve thought about it but not deeply. When you say it’s pricey - what kind of price range are we talking? Doulas are day of/birth only right?
  • @literatureandink It can range, and there are different kinds of doulas. Some are just for labour, but some are post-partum, where they help you settle into life at home with a newborn, some help with labour and home prep ahead of time. The doula I'm looking at has prices ranging from $1150 to $1750 (CAD), with that last one including birth photography as well. Mostly I'm seeing between $1100 and $1600, with all of those including at least one pre-natal visit, 24/7 phone/text support, full attendance for labour and sometimes a couple hours after, and one post-partum visit.
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  • Hi. I am hiring a doula this time around. I met with a few and found one I really clicked with. I am going to try and labor at home as long as possible and also not get an epidural. I made these decisions based on my last delivery. I believe having the extra support of a doula will help me achieve these goals. 
    The cost is $900 (I'm in Cleveland) for 24/7 text and call support, 2 prenatal visits, full labor and delivery,  and a postpartum visit.
    The cost can be charged to an FSA/HSA if your OB is willing to write a letter of medical necessity. 
  • jenabaryjenabary member
    edited October 2019
    I’ve been thinking about a doula because I’m planning on a natural birth. I know that I want someone else with me other than my husband because while he is a great support in general, I’m not sure how he’ll react (he sometimes faints around blood and fluids, and I think he might not like me being in pain very much!). I also need someone who will be able to advocate for me if I can’t do it myself.

    I’m definitely planning to take some birthing courses with my hubby, which I hope will help him feel more comfortable and confident to be there for me, but the current plan is for my mom to try to get here or be here already. I might also ask my cousin who lives in town to be on call. What is important to me is having a female in the room who has given birth and who will help me cope and support me in my birth plan. 
  • I did not have a doula and I don’t plan to this time. But, per recommendation of my cardiologist, I had a medicated birth in the hospital. My OB delivered the baby and only hospital staff and DH were in the room. I did not labor at home for long because my cardiologist wanted me to have access to medical facilities in case of heart issues. Honestly, I am concerned that the local doulas would not be supportive of my birth plan. They are very holistic and push natural childbirth without meds, which just doesn’t work for me. 

    That said, I have known many women who gave birth naturally and loved the support of a doula. I understand that it is particularly useful if your H is not the type to speak up or advocate for you or if you are concerned about the hospital pushing meds or c-sections unnecessarily. I would just say to meet with doulas and make sure that they are compatible with your situation  They can be a great resource as long as you find the right fit. 


    Me 34 DH 34 

    DS1 born September 2017
    Baby number 2 due 4/11/20
  • I'm planning on having a doula and doing a medicated birth. Mainly I want the doula because I have ptsd from past hospital experiences and not being listened to in a time of crisis. I want to be sure to have somebody who is my advocate in the L&D room with me, and somebody who will offer support to not just me but also my husband. Plus there is always a chance that the epidural won't work and I want to be prepared if that's the case. The doula that I'm currently looking at employing is supportive of medicated deliveries and natural births and offers a birthing class and post partum services. Her cost is around $1,150. She is also available to answer questions I have anytime during the pregnancy. I'm most likely going to hire her but we have a meeting scheduled to meet in person just to make sure we vibe well. This is my first child though so I cannot speak to past experiences in using one. 
  • Are doulas mostly anti medicated birth? I go back and forth trying to decide what I want. I definitely don’t want a doula who will either discourage or shame me if I decide on meds.
  • @literatureandink honestly doulas tend to range from super natural birth to medicated. I think most fall under the category of natural birth but there are ones out there who will not pressure you. Just make sure to do your research and usually you can get an idea what their viewpoints are just from their website as to whether they'd be a good fit but also interview them and make sure to bring it up in the interview if it's not apparent from their websites or reviews. 
  • @literatureandink Like most things, we have a very limited supply of doulas in my area. The ones I’ve found are less comfortable with medicated birth and are more comfortable if you labor at home for an extended time. I didn’t want someone who was uncomfortable with my birth plan. I think that larger areas have more options. I haven’t looked into it recently either, so maybe our supply is getting more diverse as well. You just need to find someone who is the right fit for you if you want a doula. Discuss these issues and make sure the doula is comfortable with your desires. If not, move on.


    Me 34 DH 34 

    DS1 born September 2017
    Baby number 2 due 4/11/20
  • Meeting with a potential doula tonight! Our midwife highly recommended her and right away on the phone when we reached out to her she sounded like the coziest most loving person. Excited! It feels a little weird to invite a stranger into a pretty intimate and painful experience, but I think we'll be in good hands with her.
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