General Doula Questions

Updated on June 30, 2008
J.P. asks from Chicago, IL
5 answers

I am 32 weeks pregnant and am planning on having a VBAC. I was curious about having a Doula this time around since my first delivery was a cesarean and I am feeling a little unprepared for this. I am interested in going epidural free, but am not against getting one either. My questions pretty much are: What does a Doula usually cost? How do you find a good match? Did you think it was helpful and worth it to get one? I will be delivering out of Evanston Hospital so if you have a recommendation please share...thanks!!

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answers from Chicago on

Hi J.

Congratulations on baby #2!
I am a labor nurse and I really like Leah Koop for a Doula! She works REALLY well with women in labor and after labor...she is a certified massage therapist as well, and just has a wonderful presence in the labor room for mom, her support person, and works so well as a team with the doctors and nurses...which is something that is so important to keep a healthy, positive flow going throughout your labor.

Also, Baby Feat offers a VBAC class that is specifically tailored to meet your personal needs, which addresses your previous birth experience, the reason you had a Cesarean Birth, helps bring closure and celebration to that birth, while looking forward to a new birth experience in a realistic , positive and very empowering way. You are given very tried and true measures that will give you the best chance for a vaginal birth. The class is conveniently held privately in your own home.

Take great care!!


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answers from Chicago on

J. - Definitely connect with ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). We have a Yahoo discussion group and we meet monthly in Chicago (there is also a Lake County group. I can have you added to the Yahoo group if you like (send me your email address at I loved my doula but she was a bit more expensive ($1,100). However, I've heard you can get a doula in training for free. My doula may be able to hook you up with someone. The drawback is that they don't have much experience and you don't have a lot of options of who to choose.

J. - here's a recent post from a doula to a woman looking for a doula, it may be helpful:

There are lots of ways to find doulas. Talk to people, do web searches, talk to your doc or midwife, etc. There are also doula orgs. The one I belong to (and is one of if not THE biggest) is DONA. If you go to and on the left click that you are looking for a birth doula and enter Illinois as a state, it will give you all the doulas in Illinois by town.

It will also give you a link to doula FAQs, and how to hire a doula. Clicking is crucial, I think, but it is helpful to have a list of questions that someone else has said, "This might be important to you" You can even devise some crucial questions for pre-screening on the phone, like distance from you, distance from your birthplace, cost, experience of the doula, etc.


answers from Chicago on

I delivered with a doula 5 years ago. I was induced and delivered without drugs. It was a great experience.

A doula is an experienced woman who helps with comfort measures (deal with pain) and helps you get what you want out of your experience. Because she has attended many births, she also knows what to expect and therefore is a source of comfort. I used Malik Turley (from Evanston) and Dori Conn. They are a team. You can reach Malik through her website at

Good luck.




answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,
I can't answer all your questions, but wanted to let you know that I just had a successful VBAC 8 days ago completely drug-free with my mom acting as my doula (she's a CNM and is fabulous labor support). I am still over the moon about how awesome and amazing and empowering the whole experience was. It was SO worth it! I really believe that ANY woman can feel this way about their birth, but you do need some good support to do it naturally and a doula is a great way to get that support.

I believe, from talking to folks, that doulas run anywhere from $400-$800, which includes some visits before and after the birth (I think?) You may be able to find a doula in training who can do it for less, but I'm not sure how you'd go about doing that. You might consider posting in the Chicago/Illinois "Tribal area" of and asking for recs there. If you haven't done so yet, I suggest trying to get to at least one ICAN meeting before your birth - I found it really helpful to talk to a bunch of women who had been there and done that and I'm looking forward to heading back to share my wonderful birth story with the group. Good luck with your VBAC!!!



answers from Chicago on


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