In this economy, many of us are doing without.
Scenario: You’re planning a hospital birth and all the literature you read suggests that you hire a doula. The research confirms that using a doula may reduce your interventions, may help you avoid a cesarean, and may increase your satisfaction with your birth. Even a prominent obstetrics journal rated doula care as “one of the most effective interventions.” Ok. You believe it. But resources are tight. How will you hire a doula?
Before taking the suggestion I’m about to make, first talk to every doula you can find. Ask about sliding scales, payment plans, or bartering. See if there is a student doula who needs a few free births to complete her certification. Student doulas can be wonderful assets to a laboring family. And often, the mere presence of a doula sends a message to caregivers that you are serious about your birth experience.
If you find yourself in the final countdown without a doula, consider taking my “Doing it without a doula” crash course. I’ve recently put together a 2 hour crash course for couples who plan to go it alone at the hospital. I pack in a whole lot of information into 2 hours; though I will customize it to your unique situation. I’ll talk to you about:
- Getting your body and your baby favorable for birth
- Staying low risk and avoiding pitfalls in the final weeks
- How to labor at home and recognize when to go to the hospital
- What to expect at the hospital
- Common interventions
- And if we have time, postpartum and breastfeeding
Part of me cringes even offering this crash course because my hope is that couples find great resources for doula care and complete childbirth education. But I also know that time and money are often scarce these days.
So keep this last-ditch option in mind if you find yourself doing it without a doula!