I find myself at 23 weeks pregnant and planning an unmedicated home birth with a midwife. I’m not sure why, but I’ve had sort of a mental block when it comes to choosing a doula. Why do I need a doula, you ask? I need support during labor and a doula is a trained professional (usually a woman) who helps with massage and breathing techniques to help the laboring Mom get through contractions and make it to the finish line! Here’s some stats to show you how valuable a doula really is.
I have asked around to some friends. I have done lots of research online, but who do I choose? I feel like it’s a pretty important decision and I want to make the right one. I have some resources to share with you about how to find a doula, Utah or nationally. I live in Utah, so that’s where I’ve based my research, but I’m sure there are qualified doulas all over the Unites States.
FIND A DOULA UTAH COUNTY
- This site is a great resource that lists all the doulas in Utah County with bios. So invaluable. You can change the county if you wish to other locations in Utah.
- I think I am more likely to choose a doula that a friend knows or has used, so ask your friends, they can be a great resource for you!
- Dona is supposed to be the premiere site to help you find a doula. Anyone else had luck with this because I can’t even figure out how to use it? This site can also be used nationally.
- If you are taking a childbirth class such as hypnobirthing, you may want to choose a hypnobirthing certified doula. I have looked extensively for a hypnobirthing type class that I feel good about taking and I just haven’t felt great about any of them. I know a lot of women love them, but I’m a pretty busy Mom and I’m not sure if I have time to take a class like this and devote so much time to learning the concepts. Is that bad? I plan on relying on my midwife and doula’s knowledge on helping me get through and putting my full faith and trust in them. I have read a couple books on childbirth techniques and I think I can do it! I felt this hypnobirthing book was well written and informative.
Many doulas will do an initial consultation with you for free. You will need to make sure your personalities mesh and that you feel comfortable and safe in her presence. I have interviewed a few doulas so far. I will let you know how it goes and who I end up going with.
How much will it cost? I would say here in Utah, a good doula will cost $500. That seems to be the going rate. You can find ones that are in training or don’t have much experience for about half the price, but I want a good one darn it!
The fee will most likely include 2 prenatal visits of 2 hours each and help with pregnancy and resources as necessary. The doula will be there for the entire birth. Then many doulas also offer a 1 time postpartum visit as well. This works out to be around $30-$50 an hour depending on how long your birth is.
It’s probably a good idea to choose a doula around 4-6 months of pregnancy so you can build a relationship and bond that is necessary for a successful labor.
I hope this post helps you! Below is a video that helps explain what a doula does as well as what you can expect from your professional doula. Please post a comment if you have any questions!
Rachel, this is an excellently written article. Great job! I echo Ruthie’s comments. 🙂 Like you, I was also concerned with the time commitment. Laura usually has classes that are at convenient times. We took her Saturday night class, and it was perfect because we usually just sit around on Saturday nights anyway. Outside of that, the amount of time needed to practice was not terrible. I actually looked forward to when I could practice, because it helped me relax and focus on my baby. If I could go back, I would have paid triple for what she offered us in the 5 week course. I suggest coming to her positive birth class (which is free) and seeing if you like her style. Chances are you will love her! She makes everyone feel welcome. Go for it! If not for you, then for your baby. 🙂
Thanks Genevieve (love your name by the way!). My midwife said any meditation techniques are not only helpful for birth, but for when stressful events in life happen, or when you find yourself in a rut of not being able to relax enough to fall asleep, etc… I may need to take your advice. I have a friend that goes to her positive birth class, so maybe I will need to tag along.
Doulas are great, I’m friends with the HypnoDoulas and I love them all. It will be hard to pick one of them for my next birth!!
I dunno, I think the class was definitely helpful. It was nice to have my teacher demonstrate the techniques and create an environment of peaceful learning, and my husband actually got some material into his brain without having to do more than go to class… ;D If you’re good at doing self study, then by all means read the book and listen to some hypnobirthing tracks on your own, but I very highly recommend Laura Curtis’ Hypnobirthing class. Laura has a beautifully calm and reassuring way of helping pregnant women cope and learn, as well as helping their birthing companion (aka spouse, most of the time) learn the techniques too. She’s also set up some wonderful resources for expecting mothers and new mothers in the form of support groups, which have been fantastic for me personally. I hope you give her a shot if you take a class!
Thank you Ruthie! I have waffled about the class many times, but I have such quick labors, I’m not sure if it’s worth the time investment. If I do take the class, I would take from Laura as many people have recommend her and I know her sister 🙂