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Doula question

(9 Posts)
meravigliosa Fri 12-Aug-11 09:27:22

Have just found out that DH has organised his work schedule so I can't guarantee he will be reliably on call for the full two weeks before/two weeks after my EDD. I am thinking of trying at this late stage (32 weeks) to organise a doula. How much do they cost? Can they guarantee to be on call throughout those full 4 weeks (how can they -- presumably more than one of their clients might be in labour at the same time?)?

Any advice welcome. Can't face labour alone. V p'd off at DH.

FutureNannyOgg Fri 12-Aug-11 09:44:03

Hello! I am a trainee doula, so I hope I can help.
The cost of a doula varies between regions and doulas. I would suggest you got to and ask a few local doulas. Usually you are looking at around £500, but in London you might find them more like £800. This will usually include 2 antenatal visits and 2 postnatal visits, but this varies. Some doulas will negotiate rates for various reasons. Also, trainee doulas only charge for expenses. If you are hard up, Doula UK also has a hardship fund to cover a doula's expenses if she is willing to donate her time.
Most doulas only take on one birth at a time, so there is no overlap in their on call time. If a doula does take on more than one client at a time, she will work with a backup, who you will meet beforehand, you will attend if she can't. Some doulas also keep a backup in case they get taken ill or for some other unforseeable reason can't attend, however when you employ a doula, you are paying for her to be available to you for those 4 weeks, and all good doulas will honour that.

BackwardsInHighHeels Fri 12-Aug-11 10:31:24

I'm 33 weeks and just in the process of signing a contact with a doula, so it is still possible!

Depends where you're based what the costs are, even in London, I've found that they're typically between £500 and £800, depending on the level of experience and number of ante/post-natal visits you get included.

As FutureNannyOgg says, most Doulas I've spoken to work with backups, who you get to meet in advance, on the off chance that they're with another client when you go into labour. Some of them are also flexible about the on-call time.

It's definitely worth looking up a few people on and speaking to a few. It's also worth asking around to see if anyone has used a doula or knows someone who has, because personal recommendations do save you a lot of time and effort screening people.

I've been quite stressed because I'm at risk of pre-term labour and my other half is working away at the moment (through no choice of his own) and the idea of going into labour with him four hours away gives me the heebies, so I do hope you manage to find someone. It's certainly given me a lot of peace of mind to know that there's someone I can call who is experienced and who will be there to support me/both of us through labour and the immediate aftermath.

Secondtimelucky Fri 12-Aug-11 14:31:40

As others have said, most doulas work with a maximum of two clients for whom they are on call at a time. They will have a back up for the second of those clients (and if they don't, personally I wouldn't book them).

Where in the country are you? I'm east London. I know my fab doula is fully booked, but if you're in that neck of the woods she might know someone?

Is it your first? My two have both been well over a week late, so if there is ever a number three, not only will a doula be a must but I'll be asking if we can shift the on-call dates forward slightly (say 38.4 to 42.4).

ALotToTakeIn Mon 15-Aug-11 14:52:50

I have signed up with a lovely trainee doula, if you do this through it costs 200 pounds. I am so glad I have her even though my DH is also going to be there. I had desided I wanted one way back at 15 weeks but I can't see why you would have a problem at 32 weeks.

FutureNannyOgg Mon 15-Aug-11 23:19:57

A trainee doula should not cost £200. The rules of Doula UK are that we can only charge expenses, up to a maximum of £200.

squiggleywiggler Tue 16-Aug-11 07:30:10

Let me know if you want me to post a request on the Doula UK forum to see if anyone's free. PM me your details if you do.

Futurenannyogg it is fairly standard for trainees to charge the full £200. You are 100% correct about the rules but most AMs accept this. I know I charged £200 for most of my trainee births and so did most trainees I know. I factored in my husband's time away from his work looking after my daughter and various other things which often made it 'cost' me over £200. Totally understand that that's not the way you are approaching it but don't want ALotToTakeIn to think she's being scammed by her trainee. smile

secondtimelucky if you ever have number three and I'm pretty sure you can find a doula willing to shift the on call dates wink

FutureNannyOgg Tue 16-Aug-11 11:28:39

Fair enough squiggly. DUK have been really pushing that point with me, my trainer and AM both made a big deal about the fee being just expenses, like they were clamping down on it. If you can cost it up and justify it that's fair enough though.

Secondtimelucky Tue 16-Aug-11 11:41:22

Squiggley - it's very much an if at the moment, but I'll keep you posted in a year or two grin.

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