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We are thinking of hiring a post-partum doula to help me/us after the birth. My mother will be coming for a little while, but I don't really have anyone else to help me out with a 2 year old and everything.

Has anyone else hired a doula post-birth, or thinking about it? Do I really need a "doula", or should we just find a less expensive person to help with generally everything?

(I know doulas are great for helping with new mom's, nursing, etc. but this our second time around, I'm mostly just afraid of being utterly overwhelmed for a few weeks).

What should I expect to pay an independent doula or help (i.e. not through an agency), and how long should we think about keeping her (of course, this will depend in part on the cost)?
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