In this economy, many of us are doing without.
Scenario: You’re planning a hospital birth and all the literature you read suggests that you hire a doula. The research confirms that using a doula may reduce your interventions, may help you avoid a cesarean, and may increase your satisfaction with your birth. Even a prominent obstetrics journal rated doula care as “one of the most effective interventions.” Ok. You believe it. But resources are tight. How will you hire a doula?
Before taking the suggestion I’m about to make, first talk to every doula you can find. Ask about sliding scales, payment plans, or bartering. See if there is a student doula who needs a few free births to complete her certification. Student doulas can be wonderful assets to a laboring family. And often, the mere presence of a doula sends a message to caregivers that you are serious about your birth experience. Contact Upstate BirthNetwork and see if they have recommendations for free or low-cost doulas.
If you find yourself in the final countdown without a doula, consider taking my “Doing it without a doula” crash course. I’ve put together a 2 hour crash course for couples who plan to go it alone at the hospital. I pack in a whole lot of information into 2 hours; though I will customize it to your unique situation. I’ll talk to you about:
- Getting your body and your baby favorable for birth
- Staying low risk and avoiding pitfalls in the final weeks
- How to labor at home and recognize when to go to the hospital
- What to expect at the hospital
- Common interventions
- And if we have time, postpartum and breastfeeding
I’ve also offered on-call phone support packages for couples who lived in a different region or could not/did not want a in-person doula.
Part of me cringes even offering this crash course because my hope is that couples find great resources for doula care and complete childbirth education. But I also know that time and money are often scarce these days.
So keep this last-ditch option in mind if you find yourself doing it without a doula!