Does a doula leave room for the dad in the labor process?
Doulas never replace the dads, but are extra hands to run for the ice, change the blankets, suggest position changes, remind the family of all their labor options, do light massage, etc. To learn more, please see Dads & Doulas.
What if I really want to utilize medication?
Doulas work with YOUR birth plan, not their own. So of course you can choose medication AND still have doula support. Medication, such as an epidural, is not usually even offered until mom has achieved an active labor pattern. This can take time. A doula is beneficial in coping with labor until you choose to have medication. Also, there is much to remember during pushing and more hands are needed if there is an epidural in place. I find I can help a lot during pushing. An epidural cannot hold your hand, change your position, bring you ice, prepare the couch for dad to get some rest, explain what may happen next, or assure you of the changing feelings and emotions. But a doula by your side can.
How can we pay for a doula?
Since doulas are self-employed independent business women, their charges are unique to themselves and the services they provide, and especially the area of the country they live in. Some doulas charge a flat fee to cover their entire services with your pregnancy and birth. Others charge a sliding scale, basing it on the hours spent with your care. I charge a reasonable flat fee with a deposit required at the signing of the contract. Please contact me for my current fee.
There are several ways to pay the fee. You can pay by cash, check or even credit card through my Pay Pal account (with a small fee). Some insurance companies are starting to see the value of doulas and providing part of the fee. It never hurts to ask!
Also, many grandmothers of the baby have paid my fee, aunts-to-be, great-aunts, and even good friends. One person said she knew the mom had plenty of outfits — but to support her birth in this way was a greater gift. Out-of-town friends and family can do a gift certificate. I will also accept reasonable payments if it is agreed to by both parties and in writing.
Lastly, never let fee be the issue to having doula support. With new women taking up the work each year, there are many looking for experience who will do the birth for a small fee or even pro bono.
Will insurance cover the cost?
There are currently organizations and individuals working on this problem. Since doulas have been proven to cut down on the medical costs, I’m convinced that third-party funding will come through in time. In fact, there are currently a few doulas around the country who have been reimbursed their expenses through an insurance company. Some families I have worked with have been reimbursed by their pre-tax medical funds for my services and others have been told that their insurance company does cover doulas. It is worth a call to check on your plan.