What Is a Doula Anyway?

The word doula (DOO - la) comes from a Greek word meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to denote a person who is trained and experienced in childbirth and who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to birthing people and their birth partners before, during, and immediately after childbirth.

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20 Reasons to Hire a Doula

Why Hire a Doula?

Simply put, doulas are a powerful resource that can help birthing people and their birth partners achieve the birth they desire. The continuous labor support that a doula provides can reduce labor time, reduce cesarean rates, reduce the use of interventions such as artificial inductions, epidurals, forcepts, and vacuum extractors, and can increase positive feelings about the birth.  

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Hiring  Doula is Cheaper Than...

Science Agrees With What We Doulas Already Know.

Recently there have been studies released that deliniate the benefits of doula care. Click on the links below to read up on the recent proof of the benefits of having a doula at your birth.

 

Evidence Based Birth's website is a phenomenal resource for all things birth but especially for the studies done on birthing people who had continuous labor support and doulas present at their births.

 

Read the American Journal of Managed Care's findings which concluded that, "Women with doula support have lower odds of nonindicated cesareans than those who did not have a doula as well as those who desired but did not have doula support. Increasing awareness of doula care and access to support from a doula may facilitate decreases in nonindicated cesarean rates." 

 

Read the Huffington Post's article that summarizes the AJMC's findings.

 

Read Birth Art International's summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists's (ACOG) findings that conclude,  “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery (111). Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”

 

Read ACOG's full published study from above.

How Do You Afford a Doula?

The cost of a doula may seem like an "extra" but when you consider the amount of information and support you will receive before, during, and after your baby's birth, and how doulas are statistically shown to improve birth experiences, the true cost of a doula can be priceless. There are numerous ways to work the cost of a doula into your budget. After all, this is the only time you will give birth to this baby!

  • Put it on your baby shower registry

    • I offer gift certificates and ways for friends or relatives to make partial payments on your behalf. Whether through through PayPal, Venmo, gift certificates, or through good old snail mail and personal check, I am happy to accept payments from your friends or family on your behalf.

  • Ask family

    • Ask your family (mom, dad, in-laws, grandparents?) to cover the cost for you. Explain the benefits. So many family members just want to help and this is one way they can. You never know unless you ask. 

  • Insurance coverage or reimbursement

    • ​Many insurance companies are reimbursing for the cost of a doula now through FSAs or RSAs. You may have to pay ahead and be reimbursed but this is a huge improvement over the past. Be sure to ask for a receipt for each of your payments.

  • Budget for it

    • ​Budgeting for a doula is a smart and fool-proof way to add feelings of security and support to your upcoming birth experience. Depending on how early you hire your doula, you can set aside small amounts of money in a separate doula fund so that you don't have to come up with a one-lump-sum payment in the same week you're planning on buying that new stroller or crib.

  • Ask about payment plans 

    • ​I can work out a payment plan with you that better fits your personal budget if that will ease your experience in any way. 

  • Cut something non-essential out of your budget for a few months

    • ​Who deserves your money more? Starbucks or your baby? Seriously though, see if you have little "extras" that you can cut out of your daily routine for a short while and put that money towards your birth doula. You won't regret it. You will remember this birth far longer than you will remember the taste of that vanilla chai. 

  • Get creative!

    • Create a "doula jar" where you stash cash away

    • Everytime you have a $5 or $10 bill in your wallet, take it out and put it into the doula fund

    • Bring your lunch to work and save your lunch $$ for your doula fund

    • Have a yard sale 

    • Create a Go Fund Me page

    • Declutter your house and sell things on e-bay or Craig's list

    • Check out this creative Buzzfeed list: "Hiring a Doula is Cheaper Than...". It's probably not the list you expect.

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