Hi i just wanted to share with u my experience though i cant believe those prices, ( i live in Mexico, so its very good prices) my small birthing hospital was like1200 dlls and my doula was 350 dlls :) jaja i love that simplicity and thats what it should be, because birthing is supposed to be easy and the most common thing, and i would hate to pay one of those xpensive hospitals with all the unecesary routine, which in the long run could actually cause more complications.
I would have loved a homebirth but the nearest hospital was 40 min away so i didnt want to risk anything, but, if u have a nearby hospital and seem to be having a helthy pregnancy i would encourage u to homebirth, u dont need an aditional doula just the midwife would be all in one, but also if u could get the hospital to do your requirements, thats awesome, thats what i did, and it was the closest thing to a homebirth.
No ER, stayed in the room to birth, no IV, no epidural, oxitocin or anything like that, low lights, quiet respectfull atmosphere, no stitches in vagina, had a stage 2 tear, but didnt want stitches, and all did well, and have my doula present and husband and baby straight to mamas arms before anything and no taking him away at all jaja i loved it.)
So, anyway i was gonna tell u about my doula, for me i realized what a huge help it is specially if u start talking and knowing her, building a friendship before the birth, so she knows all u expect from her and birth and she know that and will do all that for you.
But OMG they have such a soothing, relaxing, strength giving, brave vibe to help you through it all. they got experience :)
Because no matter how much your hubby loves you or your mother or friend or who ever will be with you at the time, they dont always know exactly how you feel and though they might try to help, you are like in a very altered state in which for me everything seemed kinda annoying haha Specially the hospital staff, they were just talking to me like so raw, no compassion, no nothing, just like one birth lady about to have all these routine procedures, asking me stuff, like why on earth i didnt want the epidural ? telling me those crazy cramps i was getting were just gonna get worse and that is BS that does not help a birthing momma or experience at all !!! She was even making me consider an epidural... what a BUTT after all my preparing ... so then my doula arrived and she put her in her place ( practically told her u can tell shes never been a mom ) and since then she soothed me so much, encouraged me to hold up on epidurall like planned, told me the contractions where it, they were not going to get worse... and they didnt just more frequent but she literally was a huge relieve and relaxing motivation through out the rest. Its like a Shaman knows how to guide a trip, a doula will be great guidance through birth...
So good luck on your decision ... But whether u do it or not, believe in your birthing power from within <3