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Doula questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've never used a doula, and don't feel I need one. However, I have friends doing hospital birth and feel they need one. Only, they are running into fees that I had NO IDEA were that high? $750-1500... That's close to what I paid the midwife at my last homebirth! I'm not saying it's not worth it. She is saving you from a c section. But these women are paying for a large part of the hospital birth themselves, too, and simply cannot afford it, and I'd rather they have support than none at all due to finances.

I'd love to be able to tell them to look here, or ask here, for a doula that is less expensive. I've read those in training are less expensive or even free. But I wouldn't know where to find them. Any other suggestions?
post #2 of 6
HI, (just fyi this will probably get moved.) many Doulas, even when certified, will offer sliding scales or bartering if you can't afford there services. I personally would rather negotiate than have a mom go without the support. To answer your question about where to start, if I were you I would just have them call some local Doulas and ask them if they offer sliding scales. If they don't they can point you toward someone who does, they also may know of someone in training. local midwifes probably could also point you in the right direction.
post #3 of 6
I PM'd you some names and email addy's of doulas in Michigan that I got off a doula messageboard that I'm a member of.
post #4 of 6
Moving this to Finding Your Tribe in the hopes you get some local help! (if your friends are not in Michigan, let me know via PM ). Also, your friends may want to contact DoulasCare (located in Michigan) for ideas.
post #5 of 6
Yes -- doulas care can be an excellent source of a more affordable doula. They provide free doulas for women who meet their income guidelines and an inexpensive doula for women who don't. The trade off is that you don't get to pick who is matched with you -- I think you can veto a particular person if it is a really bad match, but you can't interview a number of women and pick the one you like.

The doulas who advertise in the directories are often the most experienced of the bunch and the ones who are doing this as their primary work. So, they are the most expensive as well. But there are probably more than 100 doulas practicing in Michigan now (sometimes it feels like there are more than 50 just here in Ann Arbor). I see a lot of business cards in some of the places I frequent, like offices where childbirth classes are held, natural food stores, pediatricians' offices, or kids' play spaces. Some of those women will be newer doulas.

Sometimes a newer doula can be more passionate and if she is less busy, more energetic or provide more service. It isn't always best to hire the person with the most experience.

I think there are a lot of doulas on here too, but they can't advertise here or offer to help on the public part of the board without getting in trouble. I think if you put out there what geographic area you are looking for, you might get some helpful PMs back.

Good luck!
post #6 of 6
I'm a trained doula in Southwest Michigan, and I'm in contact with a number of other doulas who charge abougt $500 or less, including some who are recently trained and pursuing certification (like I am) and have negotiable rates. Please PM me if I can help.
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