Are You a Doula? Would You Use a Doula?

Updated on August 10, 2010
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
10 answers

I am seriously considering becoming a Doula, but I think I need more information from women who have done it or have used one. What did you like? What didn't you like? Is the cost involved worth it? If you're pregnant, why would you like a Doula? If you've used one in the past, what were the advantages for you? Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences!

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answers from Richmond on

I loved my doula. She was there from labor through the birth and was support for me (and perhaps possibly more for my husband). My goal was to have an unmedicated VBAC and she was very instrumental in helping to make that happen--before and after I got to the hospital. I can't remember what the cost was, but it was not extraordinary.

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answers from Miami on

Dear R.,

I did not use a doula for my first birth and ended up with an induction - over 36 hours of labor - about 15 with pitocin and then a c-section for "pit to distress". My son is now over 4 and we are expecting #2 any day now. We are planning a hospital VBAC with a very supportive hypnobirthing friendly OB and she has highly, highly recommended that we hire a doula. So we did....

What do I like so far? Having someone to ask questions to without having to call the OB. Knowing that someone will be with me the whole time - even if this ends in a c-section. Knowing that our doula has worked with our OB a lot - on VBACs and how supportive she is of our plans. Her help in constructing our birth plan.

So far - nothing that I don't like. Cost is already worth it - it buys me some peace of mind. If you want to contact me directly in a week or two - I'll be happy to give feedback on our experience.


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answers from Washington DC on

Yes! Get one! It made all the difference in the world to me. I was able to have a natural, medicine-free birth with her support. I didn't have one during my first birth, thinking my husband was good enough, and ended up with an epidural and episiotomy. I only paid $350 for mine, but she came to the house beforehand, reassured my husband, and was there for me through the whole birthing expeirence. If you don't have someone like a doula, then get one. If you want to be one, awesome! Not sure what it takes to be one, but just being someone who knows what it's like to give birth and who wants to be there for the birthing mom should make you 90% doula right there! : ) Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I hired a doula and it was well worth it. She came to our house and gave me/us a personal "training session" on what to expect during my first labor and birth (the "classes" offered by the hospital" were worthless! In the end, we did not have her attend my daughter's birth at the hospital (had a marvelous midwife). That decision was more based on my (now-ex) husband's thinking that he would be there so why would I need a Doula (long story).

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answers from Norfolk on

I hired a doula for this up coming birth. I'm having a vbac in a military facility and am not at all interested in having a repeat csection. Thus far I'm not sure how I feel about my doula, but as a profession I think it's great. The cost seems a bit much personally. Since moving here I have yet to find a job and so that makes the cost of one somewhat difficult. Depending on how this birth goes I could form a better opinion for you. But I would say that if helping moms is something you're passionate about then go for it.

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answers from Washington DC on

I used a doula for my daughter's birth (my only child). While I did want to try to go without pain meds, I ended up getting an epidural because she was face up and I wasn't having any breaks between contractions. The doula and my husband were waiting for me to request the meds - she wasn't pushing me to see it through without.

While my labor did not AT ALL go to plan, the best part of having a doula is the extra support I had in the delivery room. I was never alone, and it freed my husband up to fetch me ice chips, call a nurse, etc. During pushing, I had him to wipe my brow, her to hold one leg, and the nurse to hold the other. In my opinion, a doula is just as much, if not more, for the father-to-be than it is for the laboring mother, since it takes the pressure off of him to know exactly what to do. Actually, having a doula was my husband's idea from the start.

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answers from Washington DC on

If you are hoping for a vaginal birth without pain meds and are planning on birthing in the hospital (like I did with both of my children) than YES! Interview more than one doula- you will find someone who will be well suited to your personality. Hospitals can be unforgiving places for moms who want to birth without intervention- a doula is the one hired professional with only YOUR interest at heart. If we have a third we will use one again. Best wishes to you, feel free to message me privately with any other questions.

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answers from Houston on

I had a doula with my first birth - she was $800 was the most recommended doula that I could find in my area. She met with us twice before the birth and then once my labor started came to my home and then accompanied us to the hospital until the baby was born. She did a wonderful job and was a huge help as I wanted a natural birth in a hospital. She definitely earned her pay as my labor was 16 plus hours!!! But she was great and encouraged me to switch positions and take showers etc to ease the pain. Unfortunately most of the time I was very out of it - almost in a pain comatose so I don't remember everything she did but I know she was a huge relief to my hubby who didn't feel like he had to be the sole provider of comfort. I should note though that my mother-in-law (an RN) was completely annoyed by her - but I think she just wanted me to get the drugs and get it over with... On my second birth I did not use a doula - we were just so busy at the time we never got around to calling her - it ended up not be a problem as that labor was less than 1 hour and we basically delivered her ourselves before the doctor arrived to the room. My suggestion is that if this is your first birth and you definitely want a natural childbirth then a doula is definitely worth the investment!

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answers from Seattle on

My friend was my doula, and it is sooo worth it! She helped me know what to expect, without being stressed or personally involved like my husband, sister, mother in law. The l&d nurses are great but their ultimate interest is THEIR job, not you. The first time I had to be induced and she was the only person who told me what to expect and saved me from a csection. The second time I had to have a csection and she was there too, always helping me know what was coming and made it a very good experience. I always recommend having one to all my friends!! I think it's important in all birth settings, but especially in hospitals where medications can impede proper thinking, and exhaustion can too.



answers from Las Vegas on

if you are delivering in a hospital i dont see the reason for a doula, they have full time nurse with you who are very caring,if you have support from family mom a sis or someone i dont see why you need her at home???
however if you think you have some extra cash and need extra care than one should consider having one.... i delivered both my kids without any support etc i have no relatives here so we ( me and my husband ) were pretty much alone .. and i dont think getting epidural etc is wrong in any way it only helps the mom go through delivery smooth and she is strong enough after wards to take care of the baby..i would suggest rather go medical assitant course.

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