If you are pregnant, chances are you have spent time thinking about your birth plan. What positions will you use to manage labor pain? Are you open to an epidural? Will you film your birth?
An increasing number of women are looking to reduce medical intervention and instead opt in for more natural ways of labor, one of which is hiring a doula.
We will explore what doulas do, the cost of hiring one, and how they may help give you the birth experience you are looking for!
What Do Doulas Do?
A doula is trained to provide a continuous source of comfort, support (emotional and physical), and encouragement during labor. While they do not have medical training, she is there to provide a voice of calm and experience, offer relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, and may even be an advocate or mediator between you and the hospital personnel.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Doula?
The essence of a doula is that she is all about you. Ami Burns, a childbirth educator and doula in Chicago states, “Doulas are important to women because their sole purpose is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support during labor and birth without doing anything medical.”
They are also a personal resource guide and a treasure trove of valuable birthing information. Doulas have more hands-on experience than Google and can help ease the burden new moms feel when trying to navigate their birthing experience.
Doulas can also help lower birth risks. Having a doula by your side has been shown to decrease the rate of C-sections, less use of epidurals and other medical interventions, and a heightened satisfaction with birth experiences.
It’s important to note that a doula never takes the place of husbands or partners in the delivery room, but rather they exist to complement, coach, and enhance their birth experience.
How Much Does a Doula Cost?
The cost varies by region, with the average cost being around $1200. Some doulas charge an hourly rate while others have a flat fee. Services include a prenatal visit, labor and delivery, and a post-delivery follow-up.
No matter what, your birthing experience is your experience. You get to choose who is by your side. We hope this post offers something to consider as you plan your birth!