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How much does a doula cost?

(38 Posts)
makipuppy Mon 10-Aug-09 14:31:39

I recently did an NCT course and loved my teacher who I know is also a doula. I want to ask her to be our doula for our baby due in 2 weeks but I wanted to get a ballpark idea of how much she might charge.

I've look at the online doula lists and lots seem to charge either by the hour or offer reduced rates because they are recently qualified. I think she's very experienced so may charge more.

I just don't want to ask her and then have to say I can't afford it blush

Any ideas?

turtle23 Mon 10-Aug-09 14:45:04

If you lke I'll ask her for you.
I'm a Doula (on maternity lave) and most Doulas have their own website stating prices. If this one doesn't, why not just email her and ask? Everyone is listed on the Doula UK website with their contact details.
Trainees tend to charge £200 for births and £10-20 per hour for postnatal.
Recognised Doulas charge anything from £200-£1000 for births and usually £15-£20 FOR POSTNATAL. hth

makipuppy Mon 10-Aug-09 14:51:43

Thanks Turtle. I know she's not on the doula uk website because she told me. I did have a look on there though - i'm sure I'd find somebody if she's not available.

I was hoping to cap it at about £500 for the birth itself, no need for visits before because we've both met her.

turtle23 Mon 10-Aug-09 15:06:04

I think most Doulas are flexible on fees. It couldn't hurt to ask her?

DaisymooSteiner Mon 10-Aug-09 15:18:35

It may depend on what part of the UK you're in - tends to be more expensive in the South East. I would guess the average is about £500.

SunshineDoula Mon 10-Aug-09 18:18:24

Hi there. where are you located? If in London, is she with British Doulas or Nurturing Birth?
Otherwise, your best bet would be on the Doula UK website as turtle23 said.
Please let us know how you get on and if you need any help.

makipuppy Mon 10-Aug-09 21:06:12

Thanks guys! I'm in Brighton.

I emailed her but she's on holiday till the 17th. I'm due on the 26th, so I (and hopefully the baby) will wait till she gets back and hope she's free...

wifeofdoom Mon 10-Aug-09 21:19:05

£500 was what I paid - in crawley. Birth plus 2 visits before and 1 after.

I wouldn't worry about asking and then saying you can't afford it - its a business for them!

liahgen Mon 10-Aug-09 22:16:36


I charge £450, I live in Kent.

dizzymare Mon 10-Aug-09 22:19:53

What's a doula??

hellymelly Mon 10-Aug-09 22:21:34

My doula was either £500 or £6oo I can't remember which as m-in-law paid and it was two years ago.That was the total cost,she didn't charge by the hour (how stressful would that be? )She was very experienced, and she was wonderful.

liahgen Mon 10-Aug-09 22:26:24

dizzy A Doula is professional emotional support for you and your family through pregnancy, labour,birth and the postnatal period.

They are self employed and usually offer a "birth Package" We are mostly under the umberella of

Doula UK

We come to your house, support and guide you through your choices, comfort measures, and so on, come with you when you have your baby and stay until you are settled on the ward, (or at home) with your new baby(ies in your case)

We then come to your house once or twice in the next couple weeks, see how you are, debrief the birth, support your feeding methods, (some of us are BF councillors/training) cook simple meals, etc

me If you want to get an idea


liahgen Mon 10-Aug-09 22:27:54

sorry also

Nurturing birth directory too

dizzymare Mon 10-Aug-09 22:33:14

liahgen, that sounds amazing. Are there any circumstances where you can't have one?
I'm off to read up. Thanks

liahgen Mon 10-Aug-09 22:37:25

nope, no circs where you can't have one.

If cost is an issue, don't discount a trainee, and also

hardship fund

dizzymare Mon 10-Aug-09 23:07:24

This sounds like it might be the answer to my prayers, I got a bit tearful reading blush

But I've got some questions if that's alright. How do you go about actually finding one and what if you don't gel with her? How soon do you have to book one? What is it ends up being a CS? Can you still come in or isn't that allowed? I'm sure I've got more but they're my immediate worries.

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 08:19:06

dizzy email me if you like and i'll talk you through it.

No offence intended but I've read some of your threads and I think you'd really benefit from the support of a good Doula, you can call them anytime and chat about anything.

In my book, there's no such thing a a silly question, if you're asking it, then it's valid imo. But sometimes parents to be don't feel always as if the mw have the time to do the "little" stuff.

The Doula directory

will help in your search

Also Doula uk, find a Doula]]

Call or email them in the first instance, have a look at their website if they have one, most have their services and prices on there. Choose who you'd like to meet than meet at least 2 or 3. This is the most special, personal and vulnerable time of you and your husband's life so you have to click with the person, it's no good saying, "oh she was ok, she has to be the right person, does that make sense?

Lots of Doulas travel up to about an hour or so from their base, this is realistic to get to you.

I would book as soon as you can

You can discuss from the start, particularly in your case as you are expecting twins, if you can expect to have your Doula and your partner in theatre for a CS. This can normally be arranged in special circs. You will need the support in ther and hp's recognise this more and more.

We have Doula gift vouchers that people can buy you as part payment towards the cost of a Doula. A fab pressie if you already have lots of stuff but people want to buy a useful gift. (i've been paid by the mums parents more than once )

Also a Postnatal Doula would be able to help you after the birth. Worth looking into.

HTH. Don't hesitate to ask me anything. I think Doulas should be available to everyone, and not just people with a few quid.

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 08:20:27


Doula uk, find a Doula

BumptiousandBustly Tue 11-Aug-09 08:54:47


What happens if you have a false alarm - call the doula out amd then its not the real thing?

(should say, am contemplating having a doula aftera really dreadful first birth)

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 09:02:26

We go home and wait until you call back.

Not a problem at all, same goes for long labour. You call when you want/need us to be with you, if this is early or late in your labour is completely up to you. I was with a couple from Tuesday to Thursday once lsat year, luckily i lived ten mins away and popped home couple times when mum 2 b slept, (was a HB)

As Doulas we, (well, I) have military opperations in place for my family care when on call so you don't need to think about it, this is about you and whatever makes you feel safe is how it should be.

Just should say that your dh should be included in meeting doula too and if he's not happy with her, then seriously think of meeting others. He'll be spending alot of time with her and should be able to trust her.

BumptiousandBustly Tue 11-Aug-09 09:11:55

lia Oh very much so on DH, I am very aware of that and his fear of being excluded.

The last birth went very badly, I was induced and want from 3 cm to pushing in an hour and a half, on the maternity ward and no-one noticed!

I didn't get any pain relief apart from gas and air - which didn't work for me - and DS's heartbeat went lower than mine (again this took them a long time to pick up, despite the continuous monitoring)

I am aware that second births generally take a shorter time, and am very frightened of being so out of control again. I am also terrified of being induced and left on the Maternity ward to rot. (this is not helped by the fact that of course, DH might have to stay with DS especially if I wasn't actually in labour as we have no family near by.)

Are these all things Doulas can help with? If I was induced would they come to the hospital with me and stay with me?

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 09:17:27

bumps sounds to me like you are still thinking of the last time, understandably so, it's when we are pg again that we realise that we're not actually over our first at all.

Yes A doula could support you with these things. We can come with you to induction and stay as long as hospital policy allows. The good thing is that if we debrief fully your last birth, then lay it to rest and look forwards to this one, induction is less likely. You and dh will work together on getting you/keeping you relaxed and in the right frame of mind. We can do all this prep with you in the comfort of your own home, well before labour begins.

Sadly mw's are simply too busy on the antenatal wards to listen to all women. Having extra support at this time can make all the difference.

Email me if you'd like to chat more. Going out more but will be back later.

Buda Tue 11-Aug-09 09:19:32

CAn I butt in and ask a question please?

My sis is PG with twins due on 12 Jan. Obv she will more than likely go much earlier. I ws thinking of getting a post natal doula for her for a few hours over a few weeks but how do I book and for how long as obv I don't know delivery date? Sis is in Dublin btw so unfortunately I can't book any of you lovely ladies!

makipuppy Tue 11-Aug-09 09:36:03

Oh, the lady I wanted to be my doula has just emailed back from her holiday. Her rate is fine she just has to check her diary.

The way I see a doula, and the doulas here present will tell me what they think! is someone to cut through what the doctors are saying and safeguard what you want. There is a world of difference between the doc or midwife say, 'ooh this has been going on a long time, perhaps we should start thinking about a c-section' and 'the baby is showing distress, you need a c-section'.

I want medical intervention if it's necessary, but not before. My DP is petrified about being at the birth and doesn't want to see 'the last bit' and I won't make him feel he has to. If he sees me in pain, he will definitely side with the doctors. For gods sake Maki, he'll scream, let the doctors help you! I need someone who believes I can do it.

I definitely believe in the natural benefits your body provides you and the baby during birth, but I'm not looking for a medal and will be delighted to be helped if I need it, which is why I want to be in the hospital.

Btw, in her email she said she works with another doula if two of her dates clash. Can I ask you, Liaghen, if it would be rude to say I want her and if she can't come because of an inevitable clash, I don't want the other lady (obviously I'll word it better than that...)

liahgen Tue 11-Aug-09 18:54:27

buda That's a lovely idea for you sis, twins will be challenging so some support would be invaluable for her. I will ask for you. Have done a quick search and noone came up but sometimes Doulas aren't listed yet someone knows them, does that make sense?

maki that's good news. No Your Doula shouldn't be offended if you say you don't want the back up, for some, having someone there is enough but for many it's the relationship you've built up with the Doula and it's her you're booking. The only thing is you'll probably still be liable for full fee if you give birth on the day(s) she can't be there and you refused her offer to send a back up. What she might do is offer some postnatal support in leu of the remaining fee. (well that's what I would do, we all work differently)

We can indeed cut through the medical stuff for you and obviously we will do our utmost to support your choices in labour but ultimately we are not medically trained and we are not there to step on mw's/cons toes by advising you to go against their wishes. We are not supposed to advise you of anything, merely to support you making choices and ensuring you are listened to and doing our best to make sure your choices are realised. Ie If cons says "baby is showing distress lets do cs" we do not have the power to tell you otherwise.

I hope that makes sense. Statistics show that women who are supported by females fare better in labour, and good Doula support will have covered lots of prep which in VBac cases is very very important.

Good luck to all you ladies, any questions fire away.

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