Common Questions About Birth Doulas

Will my partner feel left out if we hire a doula?

Ideally, the doula and partner’s roles at a birth are complementary to each other. For many partners, having a doula present frees them from the pressure of being the only support for the mother. Penny Simkin the founder of Doulas of North America states: “The doula’s skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed.” A doula understand that this birth also belongs to the partner, and feels it is important to care for the whole family through out the birthing process.

How much do doulas charge?

The range of cost for an established doula in Chicago and the surrounding areas is around $500-1400. What this fee covers varies from doula to doula, but in most cases the couple will have at least one or two prenatal visits, attending the birth (whether it is 3 hours or 30 hours) and one or two postpartum visits. Usually, the higher the cost the more experienced a doula is.

However, there are many doulas who do volunteer or lost cost births. Please contact me if you need help finding a doula, I would be more then happy to help.

Why do doulas cost so much money?

When you hire a doula you are paying not only for her expertise, comfort and support but also her time “on call”, 24 hours a day, until the baby is born. For most doulas being on call means they drop what ever they are currently doing or any plans they have made to be at your birth. Once they arrive at your birth they do not leave until the baby is born. Other costs for the doula could be travel expenses (gas, valet parking or taxies), paying another doula for being her back up, baby-sitting and insurance costs to name some examples.

What is the difference between a doula and midwife?

Penny Simkin sums this up nicely in her paper on Doulas and Dads. “Physicians, midwives and nurses are responsible for monitoring labor, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby, and treating complications when they arise. But childbirth is also an emotional and spiritual experience with long-term impact on a woman’s personal well being. A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By ‘mothering the mother’ during childbirth the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience.”

Common Questions about Childbirth Education classes

I am not sure I want natural childbirth, is this class for me?

Many women are uncertain of what type of birth they want. The information covered in class is beneficial no matter what type of birth you have.

I am single and don’t have a mate to attend the class with me, can I still sign up?

Yes! You are more then welcome to bring anyone who will be at your birth to the class; a family member, doula, friend etc. In fact it is ideal to bring the person who will be your main support at the birth to class. If you feel that you don’t have any support people, please call or email me to work something out.

My hospital provides classes for expectant families why should I take a class somewhere else?

There is a great benefit to taking an independent (out of/ or not associated with a hospital) childbirth education class. Because the teacher is not tied to any hospital policies she can be more candid and the classes are usually much more extensive. An independent class will dive into a whole range of topics that will not come up in hospital based classes, this can be particularly important if you want a natural childbirth. I will say that my Comfort Measures class tends to attract couples who took a class at the hospital and feel like they need to learn more about the labor process after doing so.

Having said that, it can be good to take a hospital class or at the very least a tour of the facilities. This way you can learn more about the place you are giving birth first hand. Also questions like “Do you have birth balls?” or “Can I labor in the water?” may be answered.

Many families I work with mix independent and hospital class together.

Will I know how to give birth after this class?

Believe it or not, you already know how to birth your baby! We do cover all types of comfort measures, breathing, relaxation techniques and visualizations. We discuss fear of birth and how to overcome it, as well as complications that can occur. Your body was made to do this work, so the class is designed to help you discover the best birth for you.