My husband and I currently reside in Minneapolis, as he is finishing up some schooling here. We will be completing prenatal appointments and delivering in Madison. We are hoping to move back to the Madison area around May and are looking for any suggestions and recommendations for Doulas in the area. Also, if anyone has taken birthing classes that they would highly recommend I would LOVE to know. We will be giving birth at Meriter hospital (not my first choice :-/ ) as my insurance will not cover a birth center or home birth. Again, any suggestions for natural, educational classes in the Madison area are welcome. Thank you all!
Gosh - I would think you'd have lots of options in Madison.
Happy Bambino is an all-things-mothering-and-baby store - they offer classes, too. I'd think hanging around there might get you some good leads on area doulas.
Here's a website for Madison area doulas:
I've taken both hospital childbirth classes and independent childbirth classes. I think if you're planning a hospital birth, it's good to do both. I like the independent ones, because they give you lots of information about laboring naturally. But it's also good to know the 'routine' at the hospital.
If you're taking childbirth classes before you move, I've only heard great things about Blooma in the Twin Cities.
The Childbirth Collective in the Twin Cities should be able to help you out too. They have free parent topic nights. I'd even go to one of those and ask if they have a Madison area doula recommendation.
Lea Wolf is a co-owner of Happy Bambino, and she is a doula and birth photographer. She was my doula and she is awesome, I highly recommend her. She's part of the Madison Doula Collective, here's their website: http://www.madisondoulacollective.com/index.php/meet-the-doulas/
Also, I just want to say, a hospital birth was not my top choice either, but for a variety of reasons (including the insurance/financial aspect) it was my only option. I birthed at Meriter, and overall, I had a good experience there. Not perfect, but good. I do believe that they have a strong commitment to women and are continually improving. For example, in the 4 years since I birthed there, they now have birthing tubs (not an option 4 years ago). So, I hope that will help you feel more positive about the possibilities. I think it's still important to come in prepared to be very clear about your birthing wishes, but my experience was that everyone on the staff "got" that I wanted a natural birth and worked pretty hard to help me. Ultimately, it was not meant to be in my case, but I do feel like I had a fighting chance.
Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DD(Born 10/09/08 ). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!