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doulas? How much? Is it worth it?

(8 Posts)
ZolaPola Thu 05-May-05 14:38:45

Friend due to give birth v soon and worried after problems with last 2. I thought doula might help her. Any ideas how much they charge (in SE) and what this typically covers? Is it worth it those who have used one. Thanks.

ZolaPola Thu 05-May-05 14:59:40

bump (scuse the pun)

pupuce Thu 05-May-05 15:08:16

birth doula or postnatal doula?

Kiwifruit Thu 05-May-05 15:08:32

Hi ZolaPola - I'm in the process of researching doulas at the moment (have decided I want one, just a matter of which one). They seem to charge between £450 and £850 (although less experienced doulas may be cheaper again), and this usually includes 2 or 3 ante natal visits, 2weeks on call either side of the due date, the birth, and 2 or 3 post natal visits, as well as unlimited phone calls and emails. Much cheaper option than a private midwife (seem to be £2500 - £5000), especially given that the majority of midwives don't have insurance so are just birthpartners in the hospital anyway.
Check out www.doula.org. uk - has information about doulas and lists of doulas in different areas. There's also a couple of doulas on MN, so hopefully one of them will see your message.

pupuce Thu 05-May-05 15:19:14

Birth doulas charge anything from expenses only (some trainees do that and it is encouraged) up to - IN LONDON - £600 (I heard one charged £800 but not sure who that is). Many cahrge around £400 or £500. If money is an issue I would highly recommend a trainee (they are already trained but are going through an assessment process).

A postnatal doula charges between £10 and £15/h in London and I know a couple who charge more.

A birth doula meets the parents at least twice antenatally and keeps in touch by phome and e-mail. She attends the birt from whenever the mother needs her, this may be early on - hence some doulas can attend 72 hours birth!
The doula would stay with the mum until she was comfortably settled in the postnatal ward (if having baby in hospital)
She will see the parents once or twice after the birth -to debrief. Some will write a birth diary too... each doula is self-employed so she can decide what her birth package comprises of. The more expensive doulas are not necessarily the best or most experienced!

A postnatal doula works for the mother after the birth for a few hours a week (it may be every day but it doesn't have to be, usually for 3 or 4 hours). She will do all sorts of things, what she is not is a cleaner but she will usually happily help with laundry, dishwasher, meals, baths, school runs, what ever HELPS the mother in the first few days or weeks after the birth.

Feel free to contact me if you need more info

You can find doulas without paying an agency fee on Doula UK . All their doulas have signe a code of practice and are trained and monitored.

ZolaPola Thu 05-May-05 15:24:48

thanks, all. Will pass info on.

vkone Thu 05-May-05 15:27:48

I looked into this (living in SE area) but most seemed to be postpartum doulas (mind, this was 2 yrs ago).

In the end I asked my Mum to stand by and be present at the birth - I'd intended to have a home birth, but things didn't work out, fortunately the hospital allowed both DH and mum to be in the delivery suite and it felt very comforting.

The current research seems to suggest that having a woman who is trusted by the mum to be and has given birth, present at the birth is enough to influence the birth experience positively. If that describes you, maybe you should volunteer!!!??

HTH Mia

keresley Sat 14-May-05 20:59:58

When i gave birth to my ds, I had a student midwife present with me for a full 12 hours. She had only been on the midwifery course for 4 weeks and so was just observing. However, she had given birth to 4 children and acted like a doula. She stayed with me and my dh for 12 hours constantly and gave me so much support and comfort. it also meant my dh could nip out for lunch etc ithout having to worry. This experience really hepled me to get through my birth and I found the whole birth quite a positive experience. Next time, I would definately consider a doula.

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