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I would really like to have a doula at my birth this time around. We are planning to have this baby where dd was born, a beautiful freestanding b/c with a midwife. This time though I would like to have more support. $$$ is really tight right now because we have to pay out of pocket for the birth and there's no way we can pay a doula too. I have heard that sometimes student doulas volunteer at their first few births until they have completed their certification. Can anyone tell me if this is true and where can I find a doula to volunteer for my birth?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8181177"><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 would really like to have a doula at my birth this time around. We are planning to have this baby where dd was born, a beautiful freestanding b/c with a midwife. This time though I would like to have more support. $$$ is really tight right now because we have to pay out of pocket for the birth and there's no way we can pay a doula too. I have heard that sometimes student doulas volunteer at their first few births until they have completed their certification. Can anyone tell me if this is true and where can I find a doula to volunteer for my birth?</div>
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Yup, it's true! I'm currently a student doula and providing my first 10 births for free. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I am a part of a group of other student doulas, certified doulas, and midwives. So you might start your search with other certified doulas or midwives.... ask them if they know of any student doulas. I think you can also contact ALACE and DONA for student recommendations. (Not sure on that, though.) Look through <a href="http://www.alldoulas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=8" target="_blank">this directory</a> to see some doulas in your area. I would also suggest looking here on MDC in the tribal areas. You might find one there or a recomendation. Sometimes student doulas are not free, but at a discounted price. You may even be able to find a certified doula to take you on at a discounted price.<br><br>
Happy searching and good luck. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<a href="http://www.bellywomen.net" target="_blank">www.bellywomen.net</a>
 

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You know I'm not sure about a service like that in my area. I checked out bellywomen.net but I did not find any doulas listed in my area. I have been in contact with DONA and ALACE and I am having a hard time finding student doulas. So my next step has been to just call doulas and ask them if they know of any student doulas. I have gotten one name so far and I left her a message this a.m. I wil also ask my MW if she knows of anyone.<br><br>
Lastly I have one more question, do student postpartum doulas also offer their services for free or at a discounted rate while completing certification? I guess I just feel that we will need all the help we can get during this huge transition and money is so tight right now. Thank you!
 

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Where are you can I ask?
 

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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>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8193700"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Lastly I have one more question, do student postpartum doulas also offer their services for free or at a discounted rate while completing certification? I guess I just feel that we will need all the help we can get during this huge transition and money is so tight right now. Thank you!</div>
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Student birth and post-partum doulas usually work for free/reduced pay. The trick is locating them. Here in Portland, Oregon, it's pretty easy to find them. I don't know where you are. It might depend on how big your city is, if you can find someone.<br><br>
Many doulas I know say tat they do save so much time in their year for helping mamas that need help. They might take 2 clients/year without pay because mamas need their help. But after two they must say no more. Maybe you can ask (full-charging) doulas if they ever work on a sliding-scale, themselves. It's worth a try!<br><br>
Also, consider a trade. Do you have something that you can offer them in return? 60 lbs of garden fresh tomatoes, 30 hours of childcare, oil change/auto maintennance, art work, house cleaning......
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stephanie L.</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8197073"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Many doulas I know say tat they do save so much time in their year for helping mamas that need help. They might take 2 clients/year without pay because mamas need their help. But after two they must say no more. Maybe you can ask (full-charging) doulas if they ever work on a sliding-scale, themselves. It's worth a try!<br><br>
Also, consider a trade. Do you have something that you can offer them in return? 60 lbs of garden fresh tomatoes, 30 hours of childcare, oil change/auto maintennance, art work, house cleaning......</div>
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This is similar to the way I work. I wont and CAN't do free births as I depend on my doula work to pay the bills, along with my other jobs. I am a single mom. But I am always willing to lower my fee for someone who really WANTS a doula and who is willing to show that they feel they need one (not because all their friends are having them.) Sit down and figure up a budget of what you can pay. Call some of them up and offer to pay what you can. Along with Stephanie's ideas some others I can think of off the top of my head are offering to display her business cards at a list of locations around town (advertising takes time and energy). Have a Doula Fund Tree at your baby shower. Start a baby date and weight pool for a couple of bucks a guess, split the profits between the winner and your doula. Ask any businesses that you have connections with to sponsor a doula for you or part of her fee. Both you and your doula could give them free publicity for being doula friendly. Offer to make double batches each time you make something yummy that she can put in her freezer for when she is exhausted from a birth but her family is hungry. Offer to pick up her kids from school for a month. Offer chicken soup and a run to the store with a grocery list (her money) for the next three times that she gets a cold or flu. Believe me, if I had had someone that I could just call guilt free, to go get some milk and cereal for my kids and some Nyquil for me the last time I was sick, I would have JUMPED at the chance lol. Get creative. You are a mom. What are some things that you would just have loved to have someone else take care of every now and then. The problems we normally run into with bartering services are that we don't know you well at first so child care is a very individual thing. But once we know you better, you normally are tired from being so pregnant and then have a new baby on your hands so you don't have any extra time or energy yourself.<br><br>
Call around and ask. You can find a local doula trainer from the DONA website and ask if she would give you contact info to the newly trained doulas she has had. Or she can give THEM yours.<br><br>
Good luck!
 
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