Being a doula is something I am passionate about, and love, and feel every woman deserves. Although the role of women supporting women in birth is traditional, as a profession, it’s still a relatively “new” idea, so when considering hiring a doula it’s helpful to have a more detailed picture of what is on offer and perhaps have a better understanding of the cost.
The main job of a doula is to support a woman throughout her pregnancy and provide continuous support throughout her labour. However true this is, doulas are not all cut from the same cloth. Every doula you meet will be unique, and provide a service that is unique to her own personality, skills, and experience.
Doulas are self-employed so will all charge slightly different rates. In the UK the average recognized doula charges anything from £400-£1200, while newer doulas working towards their recognition and under the guidance of a mentor will charge less. I always encourage potential clients to meet several doulas in order to find the one that is perfect for them. It may be that a doula may not have loads of birth experience, but you just click with her, and feel she’s the one. Similarly, you may find that a doula who initially seems “more expensive” is just the person you need and you will find a way to employ her.
I will come to your home at least twice before the birth. I’ll listen to you, as well as offer you resources and sign post you to relevant and up to date information with regard to your birth. If you are struggling with any fears or issues, I can help you work thought them by encouraging you to articulate your feelings in a creative way. Antenatal sessions are relaxed, fun, and just a good place to get to know each other so that when the time comes, I will be not only a familiar face, but someone you’ve gotten to know and feel comfortable with.
I love looking after the whole person, creating nutritious food for you to snack on while pregnant, and to keep your energy levels up during labour and afterwards. I’ll usually leave you with something to snack on after I’ve seen you, whether it be my home made energy bars, or a meal for your freezer after you’ve had your baby!
When I go on call for you, I set aside four weeks where I will be prepared to drop everything and come, day or night. I organize around the clock child care for my children, and make any social plans with the understanding that they may fall through if I get called away.
During your birth I am prepared to spend as much time as is needed. This could range from 6 hours to 36. Aside from the birth, I usually spend between 5-7 hours with a client as well as being available any time over email or telephone from the time you book me.
I will support you in any way you choose to feed your baby, but if you want to breastfeed, I am a breastfeeding counsellor and have been running a breastfeeding support group for 2 years as well as helping mothers on a national helpline. I have several breastfeeding resources including the “Baby lead breastfeeding” DVD which you can borrow. I can help you get breastfeeding off to a good start, and will be available after the birth to help as long as you need me to.
Additionally I am happy to discreetly take photographs during your labour, birth, and of your new family. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, but I will do my best to capture the moments immediately after the birth. I also present you with a detailed written birth story when I visit you after the birth.
I love to see mothers feeling confident and strong as they approach their birth experience and motherhood. I also want to see mothers feeling loved, special, and looked after well because they fully deserve it! As your doula, I will work towards you feeling all those things.