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Questions about doulas??


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
October 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Shyann's_Mommy09's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,031
First of all I hope this is where I should post this. I also wanted to ask that I do not get put down for anything I say regarding pain meds. I just have questions that I would really like answers to and I figured you ladies would be able to help me the best.

I do not know how I want my birth experience to go. I'm not against pain meds or and epidural at all I just don't know if that's the route for me yet. I plan to play it by ear and see how I tolerate the pain. I have some worries about Epis but like I said I'm not totally against getting one if I feel I need to.

Now that that is in the open I have some questions about hiring a doula. Basically the reason I'm even asking is because DH works nights and we are unable to find a hospital that has birthing classes during the day. I feel these are something we need to take I'm trying to find a way to make sure we both get educated about the whole birthing process. Weather we go natural or not.

Someone in my DDC suggested looking into hiring a doula or seeing if I could find one that can work with us and teach us the things we would learn in the birthing classes.

I'm curious how this whole thing works. I found one in my area that actually holds classes out of her home, she didn't have set times on her website or prices and she said that she could work with us privately if needed.

I'm wondering how do you pay a doula? Is it out of pocket or does insurance help cover some of the cost? If we were to only use her for the classes does she have to be at the birth? If I choose to have her at the birth around how much would that cost?

Another thing I'm worried about is if I have questions about pain medications. I don't want to be looked down on if I end up saying I need the drugs if the pain is too bad. I also need someone that I can ask questions about pain meds and not feel ashamed for doing so. I'm leaning for going as natural as I can but I just don't know what my tolerance is going to be. If we were to use her for childbirth classes will it only be natural or will I be able to ask about pain medication just in case.

I don't want to go into giving birth blind but we are running out of options for having any type of classes before hand.

Thank you ahead of time for your help, I really appreciate it.
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  #2  
October 7th, 2008, 03:27 PM
noworries
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I don't know anything about how paying doulas works....I don't think most insurance covers them but I don't know for sure.
Basically a doula is there to help you achieve the birth you want....drug free or not. A doula should give you all the options and answer an questions you have without being judgemental of the choices you make.
I think taking classes with the doula would be very beneficial for you and DH and would recommend doing it. The more you educate yourself, the better off you are.
I am sure the other ladies here will be able to answer your questions more thoroughly (as I did not use a doula myself).
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  #3  
October 7th, 2008, 04:08 PM
thepinkleprechaun's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would totally reccommend finding a doula. I have never heard of insurance covering it, but they will work out a payment plan with you. A doula will give you some childbirth education, support you during your pregnancy and birth, as well as post partum care sometimes too. See if you can find a couple in your area and interview them to find one you feel comfortable with.


Oh, and those hospital childbirth classes are not always that great, it would probably benefit you much more to have a doula.
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  #4  
October 7th, 2008, 05:03 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
Hi welcome!

a Doula is not covered by insurance. Rates depend on your area and experience. Any good Doula will not push you to do anything other than what you want. She will inform you of all sides though.

I had my classes taught by a doula out of her home. I LOVED it, and so did my hubby. The best thing is that she taught us (especially my hub) that birth isn't automatically an emergency. it was great to spend lots of time with her so that when the birth came we knew her well.

Let us know if we can help you any further!!
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  #5  
October 8th, 2008, 08:44 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida
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a doula is anywhere from 200+, depending on where you live... rural areas are less then major cities, of course.

There is usually a payment plan. I take a 25% deposit and the remainder by 36 weeks usually- tho I do work with people and ocassionally do lower cost births for people who really need them.

A doula at the birth has lots of benefits- she is a relaxing element that is usually not there in the hospital enviroment. Also- all the research shows that a doula helps make labors shorter, easier and with less potentially harmful interventions. I advocate that every mother should have a doula available. There are so many posibilities, options and so much... stuff going on- that I think people need someone to be there just to make sure they understand what is going on.

Some doulas prefer only to work in certain ways- some doulas will not take a client who plans to or is open to using an epidural.

I do take clients who plan inductions, plan to take medication, or who are flexible. I think whatever will make this the best experience for you is what you should do. I will make sure that is what my clients really want, and if I know they want to go natural then I help them do that, but if they change their mind- I also support that.

I do 1-3 prenatal visits, am there for the birth, and do 1-3 postpartum visits as well. I do some childbirth education- but mostly discuss interventions, their risks and benefits- the clients wishes, and talk about comfort measures. I offer 2-3 classes as childbirth prep only as an add on service if a client wants that, and we'd schedule them at both of our convienience. I do classes and visits on weekends, at night or in the day. Most doulas are flexible like that as well.

I personally think it's more valuable to have a doula at your birth then to do classes- and I would tell my clients that as well. But both- of course- is the best option.

There are some insurences that will pay you back some or all of the cost of a doula- from what I've heard you just need to send them a copy of current research (ie- less chances of interventions means a doula is cheaper then the cost of a section) and an invoice/contract that says what you paid. I haven't had any clients try to get reimbursed- but I know doulas who have.

I hope that helps!
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  #6  
October 10th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Showbiz's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,646
I hired a doula for this birth. I've met with her once, but spoke to at least a dozen before hiring her. I haven't paid her anything yet but will at the next appt. We will meet 2-3x prior to the birth, she'll be available for my laboring at home and will help me labor in the car for the 1.25 hour ride to the hospital when I am in active labor, then will help me deliver. She will follow up with 1 or 2 pp visits. I am paying her $400, and that includes having her act as a midwife in my home prior to leaving for the hosptial (she was a midwife but is no longer practicing).

All of those questions you have are great ones, and they are ones you'll want to ask when interviewing candidates!
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