I'm looking into using a doula and wondering if anyone has any recommendations or insights. Thanks!
I wanted to, and met with 2 different ones and bailed on the idea. The first one had a discolored front tooth and all I could think was that in the throes of labor I didn't want to look at that weird yellow tooth.
The 2nd one told me labor didn't hurt. I asked how that could be and she said you go to a "special place". Then told me she charged $800-$1200 for her services. I decided my special place was keeping my money to myself.
I think the concept of having an advocate in the room with you to help encourage a natural birth is generally a good idea - but I also think it depends on the woman. People told me that despite me being a pretty level-headed assertive woman, during labor I really needed another voice. I didn't find that to be true. I was able to decline Pitocin by simply saying "I would prefer to go without Pitocin, thanks." (I ended up flying down the hall for an emergency C anyway, which a doula couldn't have helped. Bummer.)
What's my point - er - ah - I would say meet with a few. Not all doulas are created equal and for someone to be in the room with you, you need to really really like and trust them. And, it's pretty easy to call yourself a "doula" and the title doesn't necessarily mean all that much. AFTER I had Delilah, I met a very nice woman who is both a doula AND an LC. If I had met her before, it's likely I would have engaged her as my doula.
(Instead of a doula, I decided to hire a professional photographer. A dear friend occasionaly photographs births and they are amazing. Unfortunately, my labor was so lightning fast that she didn't make it on time.)
erm, that was long, sorry!
although i am not using a doula, i have heard good things about these folks:
"I decided my special place was keeping my money to myself." -- ROTFLMAO!
I didn't have a doula, but have friends who have had good experiences. I was more concerned about just having a healthy baby than I was about having the perfect birth experience.