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Doulas - anyone having one?

(14 Posts)
Jill72 Sat 28-May-11 08:48:54

Talking to some experienced mums yesterday and they were really advocating a doula especially as I have a lack of experienced females around me who could be birthing partners. Anyone hiring one and how much is it costing?

squiggleywiggler Sat 28-May-11 09:33:06

I had one - it was great! So great that I then became a doula.

I'll let some others come on and tell you about their experiences, but cost-wise it depends where you are.

If you are happy with a trainee they are oblidged to charge under £200. Recognised doulas charge under £5/600 outside of London and between £500 and £850 in London. Sounds like alot but it does cover antenatal sessions, unlimited phone/email support, 'on call' for 4 weeks, the birth however long it is and 1/2 postnatal sessions and support.

There's an interesting study about the benefits of continuous support during labour here (things like decreased c-section rate, less need for pain relief): will tell you more about doulas and allow you to search for local ones.

I have some birth stories and bits and bobs you might find useful on my website

theonlyhb2 Sat 28-May-11 09:40:17

what is the point of them? waste of money. wouldnt want anyone but my OH with me, bad enough I had midwives and Dr's I dont know!

squiggleywiggler Sat 28-May-11 09:47:38

Have a look at that link I posted theonlyhb2 which gives you an idea of the point of us.

It's not for everyone, but I don't know anyone who regretted have a doula. And one thing we do is protect your space from too many midwives and doctors (unless there's any emergecy) making sure everyone introduces themselves if that's what you want, understands you are keen on privacy and don't want the MWs to chat in the room etc.

CakeForBreakfast Sat 28-May-11 11:00:20

I had a doula for my 2nd pregnancy and will have one for this one too. Until you have one, you just can't appreciate how much they can do for you.

She was the best decision I made for my birth actually, calm, 'read' me perfectly, helped with accupressure, taught me to breathe properly (it really made a difference) and I relied on her totally.

She cost £250 plus travel expenses, she was a trainee, but I was her last client before she was fully qualified.

I couldn't recommend a doula enough

glitternanny Sat 28-May-11 11:17:18

Wow I've just found my local Doula and she looks amazing and she's a trainee, maybe that'd be a better investment than hypnobirthing - someone suggested a doula when I posted about panic attacks and my OH has mentioned it.

squiggleywiggler Sat 28-May-11 11:23:38

Hi glitternanny I think it was me who mentioned a doula when you posted about panic attacks. I reckon it could be the best use of that money, but you could speak to few and see what they think. A few will be familiar with hypnobirthing and might be able to lend you CDs/books...

glitternanny Sat 28-May-11 11:58:17

thanks smile will have to see if I get a bonus at work.... sigh

Jill72 Sat 28-May-11 20:39:39

Thank you squiggly!! Will go and look at your links. Just about to pay for NCT but perhaps putting it towards a doula would be a better investment! BEING SINGLE it is fantastic that this service is available for those of us who do not have OH - and anyway to have an experienced WOMAN on hand must be hugely reassuring. X

lia66 Sat 28-May-11 21:40:36

may I just add theonlyhb2 that We, as Doulas, do know you, we spend your pregnancy getting to know you, your partner, and any family members that you would like us to be familiar with. We understand your hopes and fears and can help support your partner in supporting you. For some men, it can be difficult seeing the one person who is most precious to them struggling and in pain as they see it.

As wriggly said, it's not for everyone, but the majority would say that having a Doula was definately beneficial to them

Good luck with your search, Also look at the Nurturing Birth website in your quest for a doula


TransatlanticCityGirl Sat 28-May-11 21:40:48

We have hired a doula and although I'm still only 36 weeks so can't totally say it's worth it yet it's reassuring to have someone experienced (mine is a former midwife) who works for me (not the stupid NHS) who can answer all my silly questions, give me advice, interpret what midwives are saying etc. She also has bundles of advice for keeping myself in the best possible physical condition in the run up to the big day.

theonlyhb2. I have one of the most amazing and supportive DHs that ever lived, but one thing he is not is assertive under pressure. He is soooooo into this baby and I can see emotions getting the better of him on the day, and so having a doula there allows him to fully 'be there' with me and the doula can worry about ensuring my wishes are being respected etc, so less pressure on him.

edwinbear Sat 28-May-11 23:08:10

I'm having a private midwife for DC2 due in November for support in my birth. After a shocking birth with DS, during which DH was, by his own admission, no use whatsoever, I want somebody experienced acting as an advocate for me this time round. I also considered a doula but after a lot of consideration, decided I needed somebody medical after my first birth, not least because DH found the experience so upsetting and traumatic that he is refusing to come to DC2's birth, so my midwife will be only birth partner.

I wish I'd hired a private midwife or doula last time, I'm certain that if I'd had someone who knew what should/shouldn't happen during childbirth (for example that I should not have been left alone pushing for 20 mins) that I would not have had the complications I did. From the research I did doulas look like they are worth more than their weight in gold.

CruCru Sun 29-May-11 20:46:15

Hi Jill72

I am having a doula and her fee is GBP 500. This is my first child, so I don't know what my experience is going to be like but people I've spoken with (those who had doulas) have been very positive.

The only thing is, as I am in North London (where there seems to be a lot of demand for doulas) and as I am due at the beginning of September (so my on-call period starts while the summer holidays are on), it was a bit more difficult to find a doula who was available than I had expected. Depending on where you are based and when you are due, it may be worth booking a doula earlier rather than later.

I found my doula using the website that squiggleywiggler put on (the one).

Hope this is some help.

Repunzeluk Sun 18-Nov-12 19:37:05

Hi, I have just completed my Doula course and am looking to start my journey and hopefully be able to support my first mum very soon, its very interesting to hear the different opinions about Doulas and midwives, I have four children and had difficult labour's and births, I WISH i had hired a Doula myself on the last three births as I strongly believe my experiences would have been very different. I'm Brighton based if anyone is looking to find a Doula smile

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