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Hi, all! I'm due in December with a very unexpected third child, and my usual doula is going out of town for the holiday, so she can't attend my birth. *sob*<br><br>
In any case, we couldn't really have afforded her fee this time, so perhaps it's just as well. My husband is pretty lousy at anticipating my needs during early and middle labor, though, and I have in the past had multi-day labors, so I'm really worried about going without a doula. It occurred to me that I could probably get a student doula, but I don't actually know how to do that. Where do I go to find one?<br><br>
Thanks in advance for your advice!<br><br>
Nealy<br>
mama to T, 5<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/ribboncesarean.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cesarean">:; L, 2<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/vbac.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Vbac">: and EDD 12/20/08
 

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I would post this in "your tribe" on MDC plus reach out to your usual doula for recs. Additionally you may be able to find a student doula on the following websites:<br><br><a href="http://www.bellywomen.net/listings/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.bellywomen.net/listings/index.php</a><br>
alace.org<br>
dona.org<br><br>
If you are in the Chicago area, I may be able to help.
 

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You could check <a href="http://www.findadoula.com" target="_blank">www.findadoula.com</a> too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Go to the DONA website. It has a list of all trained, yet not certified doulas that live in your area. You contact DONA and they will put you through to teh DOULA in training. You could also ask local midwifes if anyone is looking for experience.
 

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Also, CAPPA has lots of new doulas offering free services, you can PM me if you want, and I can put your request on our message board! It goes to members all over the country!
 

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So is the general expectation that a new or "student" doula will charge less than others?<br><br>
I am of the school of thought that the services are the same, the time spent is the same, so why should someone new or a "student" charge less? I would try to find a doula that you connect with and discuss your financial situation with her. Most doulas are understanding and will alter their fees if a couple cannot afford their standard fee.<br><br>
IMO it devalues the service provided by a new doula to expect that her fees will be less than the market allows. It says that somehow she is providing less service or spending less time and that is simply not true.
 

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I'm not sure if it's the case for other cert. programs, but with DONA you are required to attend 3 births unpaid for certification. That means that there are trainees eagerly looking to assist for free. Definitely worth looking into.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rachel J.</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592574"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not sure if it's the case for other cert. programs, but with DONA you are required to attend 3 births unpaid for certification. That means that there are trainees eagerly looking to assist for free. Definitely worth looking into.</div>
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The three DONA pre-certification births definitely do not have to be unpaid! Any doula (trained/untrained, certified/uncertified) can offer her services at whatever price she deems appropriate. Whether or not a family will pay full price for a less experienced doula is totally up to the expecting family.
 

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IMO, as a doula who considered herself a student for nearly 1 year, during doula training and apprenticeship, and as, now, a professional doula who charges full prices, a STUDENT doula is a student, they are less experienced in dealing with situations and generally need to gain that experience and know how they will react to birth etc. etc. etc. At that point I recommmend doulas do mentored births for free. I sure as heck know I wouldnt have wanted to pay say, $800 myself at my first ever birth, forget about it.<br>
I take my work seriously and it is imparative that I am good at what I do and I do not think that really anyone's skills would be worth full price their first few births. That being said, I gave myself a student period of 7 months, and did births for free(mostly for disadvantaged women) as well as apprenticed with old pros, and as soon as that period was done I was confident in myself as a good and compotent doula who was worth the money.<br>
I am a firm believer in the apprenticeship model and doulas who have taken a weekend course and never been to a birth before, I would not pay full price to attend my birth. Forget about it.<br><br>
Anyways, a bit off topic but replying to the post that stuck out at me.
 

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WOW! $800 for a birth? Sheesh... around here its more like $400 and less. I couldn't afford to offer my services for less and it is frustrating to hear that someone might expect that. Just because I have attended friends and family for no pay and I am choosing not to certify right now (much too expensive) doesn't mean that my time and support is any less valuable. That is why I think it is much more important to find someone you like and trust and go from there... everyone prices their services at what they feel their time is worth and the market will pay for their particular kind of care.<br><br>
Apprenticing is not an option for a lot of people. And the beauty is that there is no one journey for all doulas, each person brings their whole selves to doing this work. You will get a feeling immediately from someone who presents the skills and personality that meshes with yours.
 

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Honestly, I was as good at my first birth and second and third and such as I am now. Perhaps I know more and have more experience but I was still there for them and made a huge difference and they really appreciated my being with them. I think student doulas should work for free for families who really can not afford to pay but if you are good at what you do, you should expect to be paid for it.<br><br>
Here in NYC, a novice usually charges $500 and the full fees are close to $2000 now.
 

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Yes $800 is the price for experienced doulas here, many of whom make their living doing it, we have a fairly high cost of living here too so it is appropriate. Prices vary by region.<br>
I wish I were as good my first birth as I am now. Sure I was there for them and offered continuous support which is the most important part but I definitely think my presence at births now is much much better and I am far more able to respond to peoples needs, and respond appropriately while being fairly hands of, and helping create harmonious vibes in the birth room. Since I have worked with a lot of other doulas as well I know it was the same for them, each of us has gotten better and better each birth, and our services worth more.<br>
I'm impressed with you all who were bang on on day one.<br><br>
Anyways its true not everywhere is apprenticeship available. I am fortunate to live in a place with a wonderful program and amazing doulas for mentors.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rachel J.</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592574"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not sure if it's the case for other cert. programs, but with DONA you are required to attend 3 births unpaid for certification. That means that there are trainees eagerly looking to assist for free. Definitely worth looking into.</div>
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DONA births are not required to be unpaid!!! You are required to do them and get evals, but no where does it say they must be unpaid.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sage.Naissance</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592840"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">IMO, as a doula who considered herself a student for nearly 1 year, during doula training and apprenticeship, and as, now, a professional doula who charges full prices, a STUDENT doula is a student, they are less experienced in dealing with situations and generally need to gain that experience and know how they will react to birth etc. etc. etc. At that point I recommmend doulas do mentored births for free. I sure as heck know I wouldnt have wanted to pay say, $800 myself at my first ever birth, forget about it.<br>
I take my work seriously and it is imparative that I am good at what I do and I do not think that really anyone's skills would be worth full price their first few births. That being said, I gave myself a student period of 7 months, and did births for free(mostly for disadvantaged women) as well as apprenticed with old pros, and as soon as that period was done I was confident in myself as a good and compotent doula who was worth the money.<br>
I am a firm believer in the apprenticeship model and doulas who have taken a weekend course and never been to a birth before, I would not pay full price to attend my birth. Forget about it.<br><br>
Anyways, a bit off topic but replying to the post that stuck out at me.</div>
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Sorry, but I disagree. In all other areas of life "students" or "newly trained" do not volunteer. When my dh graduated from college and got his first job and was "in training" on the job he didn't do the work for free. He was paid his regular wage and no one asked whether the guy sitting at the microscope had 1 day of experience or 1 yr of experience and they didn't pay him differently (yes in time he gets raises based upon experience but he still made a wage during his training).<br><br>
Maybe a new doula shouldn't charge what an experienced doula should charge, but she should still charge something.<br><br>
As for you talking about experience and learning something - I can tell you that I have been a doula for 5 1/2 yrs and to this day I feel that I am still learning new things all the time. The day I feel that I am so experienced that I am not learning is the day I leave the field because I believe we are forever learning, changing and evolving.<br><br>
Now to the original person- why not start by asking your regular doula for a referral. In many cases doulas know student doulas or people that are working for a reduced fee or who will barter. Plus this would give you the benefit of knowing someone that is coming via referral who might be a good fit for you.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rachel J.</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11592574"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not sure if it's the case for other cert. programs, but with DONA you are required to attend 3 births unpaid for certification. That means that there are trainees eagerly looking to assist for free. Definitely worth looking into.</div>
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I retract my above statement <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I've been looking at the various certification organizations, mostly late at night when I really should be in bed, so I don't know where I came across the idea that the training births were pro bono. It's clearly not on the DONA site. Perhaps it was from the individual ads I read which included new doulas offering free services <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 
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