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tryin 09-27-2009 09:04 AM

My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
I need help choosing a doula and was hoping I could get some opinions here. I will not have anyone with me during labor and delivery. I am choosing this for several reasons. I do have a friend that will drive me to the hospital but I won't ask her to if it will be at an inconvenient time for her. I have visions of driving myself to the hospital.

Basically, I delivered my last baby alone in the hospital and would prefer not to be alone again and if they have to take my baby out of the room, I want someone there to go with her. I would rather this person be a birth professional rather than a friend or family member. I don't want alot of hands on treatment, just someone who is there so that I'm not taken advantage of being alone.

I am wishing to go as natural as possible, but am not opposed to getting an epidural if I just can't handle the pain or pitocin or c-section whatever develops as long as I get a healthy take home baby this time. I don't want it to be an easy road to interventions, but will not fight it if I truly need them.

So yesterday, I interviewed two potential doulas for my upcoming delivery. I'm 30wks and will deliver at 39wks, so not much time left. the first doula I called ($500) said she couldn't do it so she referred me to a couple of other doulas in my area. I live pretty far out and so not many options. My hospital is about 50min from my home and usually doulas live somewhere in between here and there.

The doula that was referred to me charges $600 includes childbirth classes and she has tons of experience. I guess I can afford $600 but would prefer not to pay that much. I'm not sure if she'll go down on that price, I can pay in installments though with the balance due by 36wks. She will barter, but I'm not sure what I have to barter. We discussed tutoring her DD, but I'm not sure about doing that. She seems to be more knowledgeable about procedures and technical stuff. We got along okay. I think she will be a great advocate. She says she can give me the potentials for doing certain procedures or allowing certain interventions. She will also help establish breastfeeding.

The other doula I found is not yet certified and needs 3 births for her certification. I would be her first birth. She only charges $200, $100 deposit, $100 at delivery. She has given birth 5 times. We also got along great along conversational lines. I'm not sure if she has a strong enough personality though if something should go awry. She also seemed more hesitant about helping w/bfing but will help with that. Not really that big of a deal because the hospital does have LCs.

Both have children and have had non-medicated and medicated births. Both have agreed to attend a c-section if that should happen. I will be induced if I don't go into labor naturally prior to 39wks and they will be there as well. The more experienced/expensive doula has agreed to provide transportation if I need it, the other one won't.

I am a pretty independent person and don't need alot of hand-holding but want to have someone there "just in case".
Which doula should I choose or should I just keep looking for someone somewhere in the middle of expense and experience?

fanatic4cloth 09-27-2009 09:28 AM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
Oh tryin I would definately go with the more experienced doula. The money is worth it if she will drive you. And also she seems knowledgeable and more experienced I think you will have the more positive outcome with her. Jena and melanie are doulas and I'm sure could give you more insight then I can. But medically speaking I would take the one who could be more what you need when you need it.

bryandcam+2 09-27-2009 09:36 AM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
jena might be able to tell u more but i know when i found my doula she wasnt certified. She didnt charge me anythign because of that. I dont think they are allowed to. In my opinion it was good having her there. She has the training and was great standing by my side. I also dont need alot of hand holding so she just made sure I was comofortable and didnt need anything. I would keep looking. But thats because I dont have $600 for a doula. But I would think that having someone to drive u to the hospital would be nice.

fanatic4cloth 09-27-2009 09:40 AM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
Also I forgot to add economy is bad. I'm sure you might be able to talk her down. Even a hundred bucks would be an awesome deal if you could get her price for 500 but if she will help with the bf and the other I would go with her.

UnderTheStars 09-27-2009 11:31 AM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
That's a tough one! I guess I would lean towards the more experienced one, because she could drive you and because if she's going to be your support, your voice, then she'll be more authoritative in getting you what you want and what you both feel is best. Good luck either way!

ClothDiaperMePlease 09-27-2009 11:37 AM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed

Originally Posted by seeinstarrz (Post 8501218)
That's a tough one! I guess I would lean towards the more experienced one, because she could drive you and because if she's going to be your support, your voice, then she'll be more authoritative in getting you what you want and what you both feel is best.

I agree :) Good luck mama!

trying4more 09-27-2009 01:19 PM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
I'd go with the more experienced one!

Edensmomma 09-27-2009 03:25 PM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
I would personally go with the more experienced one myself because she is probably much more knowledgeable to hospital procedures and medical interventions. Your doula can drive you to the hospital too-and then have someone pick her up so your car is already there for when you go home.
My best advice as a doula myself is to stay home as long as possible (as long as you feel comfortable doing so)

Do you need childbirth classes? If not, can she knock off $$ off her $600 price? That might be worth asking her.

tryin 09-27-2009 04:14 PM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
Thank you all for your replies. I was thinking of asking the doula if she would lower her fee, but didn't want to offend her. I did speak to another doula today over the phone who lowered her fee from $600 to $400. She also will not provide transportation.

If I have doula drive my car, what if I have a c-section and then cannot drive myself home? That was one of my concerns about driving myself.

Jena- would you be offended if you stated your fee and a potential client asked for a reduced rate especially considering you are providing transport which I'm sure is not a usual part of your services? I did just read online that she will discount $50 if visits are held at her office instead of my home. I would love it if she could reduce by $100 at least.

fanatic4cloth 09-27-2009 06:48 PM

Re: My Doula Dilemna-Advice needed
Tryin I'm not a doula but I wouldn't be offended if someone asked me for 100 or 150 discount. Considering the state of the economy to lower your rate and have clients is much better then no clients. I think anyone in the healthcare field would agree that the reason they got into it was to help people. The pay is just a bonus. Many times I did things for patients above and beyond what I was supposed to do. I bought shampoo and conditioners for patients who were there long term. It was about giving them whatever happiness I could to take their mind off of whatever they were going thru.

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