We've had many moms wonder if a doula is right for them or if they can afford a doula. Suze Orman on "Can I Afford It?" says a doula is, "a NEED, not a want!"
So why do doulas cost so much? Rates for doulas typically vary by region and experience. A doula in training in the Philadelphia area may typically charge $500-$600/birth. Doulas with greater experience in this area typically charge $1000-$1800/birth. It's important to ask a potential doula about their training, how many births they have attended, their philosophy about childbirth, what services they provide and the cost. Also, discuss your preferences and concerns about pregnancy, labor and delivery.
What benefits can you expect to have from having a doula at your birth? MANY!
Check out this article from Evidence Based Birth on "The Evidence for Doulas". They summarize the 2012, Hodnett et al. updated study published in the Cochrane review that concludes, "Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labour and birth". In this report, the best results were obtained when women had continuous labor support from a doula - not someone who was a staff member of the hospital and who was NOT a part of the woman's social network. Women supported continuously by a labor doula in the study experienced:
- 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
- 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
- 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
- 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
- 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
For four of these outcomes,* results with a doula were better than all the other types of continuous support that were studied. For the other outcomes, there was no difference between types of continuous support.
Well Born Baby doulas have over 7 years experience supporting families in various labor settings and, combined, have attended over 500 births. We've worked with moms planning natural, wanting to "see how it goes", planning on an epidural, and having a scheduled c-section. We embrace that each birth experience is unique and that the most important thing is for the mom and her partner to be involved in making their best choices.
If you are interested in a complimentary consult for a birth or postpartum doula, please contact us today!