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Doula on Sliding Scale?

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 1:47 AM
  • 13 Replies

I am a single expecting mom and I really need doula support during my upcoming birth. Does anyone know of a caring, compassionate doula that would be reasonable if not free ? I am not at all in a position to pay at this time. I will be at St. Francis, in Tulsa, Ok- in Sept/ God Bless-

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 1:47 AM
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by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 1:51 AM

I'm not from that area...or know anyone from there.

Here's a bump for someone who can help! :) Good luck though.

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 2:48 AM


by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 2:50 AM


by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 2:51 AM


by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 9:26 AM

 Here is a handful of doulas in OK:

It doesn't hurt to email and ask about their fees.  Casually mention if they know anyone in training and you should be able to find a few.  Good luck!  =)

by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:23 PM


by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Sorry about this question, but what is  A BUMP!??

by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:35 PM

It pushes your post back up to the top of the Posts list.    More people can see it that way.


Or~  it's what we call our pregnant tummies, lol.   ;-)

Good luck on your Doula search!!

  • Doulas mother the mother.       :-)
  • Every woman who wants a doula should have one!      :-)
  • If you don't know your options you don't have any.      ~Korte & Scaer
  • If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.    -John H. Kennell, MD
  • Women's strongest feelings (in terms of their birthings), positive and negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.       ~Annie Kennedy & Penny Simkin
  • labor is not about dilation.  Your body knows how to give birth whether or not you have a pelvic exam during labor.  Birthing women need encouragement to trust their bodies, and to be the stars of their own labors.     ~The Doula Guide to Birth

by Platinum Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:49 PM

I'm sorry, I don't but here's a bump for you!

by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Are you looking for a cheap doula?

Originally published on the Baby Steps Blog

TheFeministBreeder posted a great blog the other day about her initial impression of what a doula was, and how that changed when she met the doula for her second birth.

I was reading and nodding along, especially when I read this line:

I realized not only that doulas are real professionals with real skills, but many of them weren’t at all what I had pictured in my mind.”

Later in the post she mentions cost, though.  And she offers up advice that I have seen (and even given, in the past) on many email lists and message boards:

“So now you know WHY you should hire a doula, but maybe you think you can’t afford it. Not true! There’s a doula for every budget.  Check into community-run doula programs or volunteer programs.  Ask local childbirth educators if they know any doulas who are in the process of certifying – they may work for free or at a minimal cost.  Many highly experienced doulas even work on a sliding scale or a payment plan.  In most cases, you just have to ask.”

Indeed, one of the big doula certifying organizations even has community service doula work as a part of their Code of Ethics

Community Service
The doula is encouraged to assist the DONA International vision of “A Doula For Every Woman Who Wants One” by making reduced cost or no cost labor support services available when possible.”

But does this mean that every woman should have a low cost or free doula?  Think about a food bank – that food is there donated by those who have more, to help those who have less.  Would you go to a food bank to get free food if you really didn’t NEED free food?  Would you go just because maybe there are other things you would rather buy than food right now, even though you have the money? For most people, the answer is probably “no”.  Yet more and more I am seeing women say that they want a doula, but they don’t want to pay full price.

If you are considering hiring a doula, think about the reasons why.  Women who have doula assistance at their births have lower rates of interventions and cesareans, and higher rates of natural birth (if that is what they desire – doulas aren’t only for women who want natural births).   Ask women who have given birth with one how they feel about it and you will hear things like “at that moment we would have paid her double her fee” or “she was worth every penny” or “she was worth her weight in gold”.

There are many items in the course of a lifetime that people will budget for, but a doula isn’t always high on the list.  The average cost of a wedding cake is $543.  Is a doula worth as much as a wedding cake?  I would say much, much more.    During pregnancy a doula is there to answer questions, point you to resources, and acknowledge and calm the fears and stresses that can accompany the end of pregnancy.  In labor, the doula offers comfort techniques, both physical and mental, as well as information to help navigate the choices that you will face and help you achieve the best possible outcome and experience.

When a doula goes “on call” for your birth, she is saying that for several weeks, she is willing to drop anything at a moment’s notice to come to your birth.  That includes everything from not planning vacations during that time, being willing to leave a family event, or even be interrupted during an intimate moment.  Every night your doula checks her phone to make sure it’s on and charged, maybe even calls it to make sure it’s working (not that I have ever done that…).  She finds a skilled peer to act as backup in case an illness or emergency mean that she has to miss your birth, and if she has kids, she puts together lists of people who can watch her children on short notice.

So when you think about hiring a doula, and you think about how much you are willing to pay, think about all of that too.  Yes, there are doulas who are willing to work for a lower fee, or donate births.  But remember that “doulas are real professionals with real skills” and they deserve to be paid for the work that they do!

If you really truly cannot afford a doula, there are definitely avenues of help available to you.

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