Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Up front, doulas may seem expensive. Some people think they are hired to replace another important person in the birth space, like the partner or the birthing woman's mother. But doulas are an integral member of a birth team.
Doulas' fees may seem steep. But birth work is truly the work of the heart. Doulas' fees covering many things:
-Doulas spend quite a bit of money on their initial doula training and usually take additional training courses to keep up with the most recent information.
-Supplies like books, birth balls, massage tools, snacks, rebozos, must be bought and restocked.
-Many doulas need to pay for child care while they attend prenatal meetings and births, which are unpredictable and can last days.
-Doulas need to be compensated for the time spent away from their families while attending prenatal meetings and births. With birth being unpredictable, doulas can put anywhere from 8 hours to 50 hours into a client's pregnancy and birth.
-Doulas are on call for normally four weeks. This four weeks means no planned vacations, never traveling more than a few hours from home, possibly missing out on events like concerts and children's birthdays.
-A relationship that starts during pregnancy and blooms with every prenatal meeting. This ensures that the doula and couple have a close relationship before labor ever begins.
-Ongoing support, from the moment that the mother feels she needs help. This includes support at home before the midwife joins a family or it is time to go to the hospital.
-A doula brings a wealth of knowledge into the birth space including relaxation and comfort measures.
-A doula also brings a calming presence with emotional support and encouragement.
Books may contain some of the information that doulas know. Care providers may emulate some of the characteristics of doulas. But neither can replace a doula entirely. Books do not provide hands that comfort or calming words when you think you cannot go on. Care providers, while incredibly knowledgeable and healing, must worry about the mother and the baby's medical needs if nececssary while a doula focuses on her emotional needs as well as her partner and other family members.
There was a time when females of all ages would help support a birthing woman. Our modern society has robbed us of the ability to know how birth can truly be. Most modern women do not possess the innate knowledge that comes with attending physiological birth from a young age. Doulas are the modern replacement for this feminine rite of passage. The support is completely irreplaceable and worth every penny.