Doulas

  1. What is a doula?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   nurseunderwater
    doula is derived from a greek word and means -with women- her job is to "mother the mother'..A doula provides assistance during Labor and delivery helping the mother through labor as well as the Partner and children if needed. She may also help the mother realize her goals of her birth plan for example...no medication for pain if it is a hospital birth. They also help after the baby is born, helping the mom with baby care and nursing. She may also do light housework, prepare meals and help with the other children so that mom and baby can rest. I had one after my last two births at home and she was so wonderful. All moms can use some help during and after birth....a doula provides just that!
    Last edit by nurseunderwater on Mar 25, '04
  4. by   nekhismom
    How much does a doula cost? I was very interested in having one when my son was born, but there were none in my area.
  5. by   RNPATL
    This is an interesting thread. I had never heard of a doula until my mother went through the certification course here in NC. She just finished and is now attending her 3 births to become certified. She is a nurse also, but the doula class is for lay people. Interesting.
  6. by   sbic56
    Quote from nekhismom
    How much does a doula cost? I was very interested in having one when my son was born, but there were none in my area.
    I doula I met around here(Maine) received $500 for her services and was available to the client from about 6 months gestation on to help her to prepare for childbirth and be there for total support during labor, delivery and postpartum period as well.

    After a quick search, I found the site below giving a little more input on that.
    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-an...?msg_id=003NLe
  7. by   Cheerio
    Doulas can cost anywhere from free up to about $800 for major centers. I do at least 5-8 volunteer births a year for low income families and only charge $250 per birth and even then I barter and allow my clients to pay when they can.
  8. by   RNPATL
    Quote from Cheerio
    Doulas can cost anywhere from free up to about $800 for major centers. I do at least 5-8 volunteer births a year for low income families and only charge $250 per birth and even then I barter and allow my clients to pay when they can.
    Cheerio - my mom is interested to know how you got started? She has just finished her class and is attending to her 3 required birhts so she can finish her certification. Her biggest question is how to get started. She lives in Sarasota, Florida. She came here to Asheville to attend the class and visit with me .... :hatparty:

    Now that her class is over, she really wants to get the ball rolling. She is also talking about doing what you do, with the low income mothers. Thanks for your help and I will pass your response on to her.
  9. by   BabyRN2Be
    For more information on doulas and their training, visit www.dona.org. I've been a labor doula for the last 5 years and I've loved it. In my area, I'm comfortable charging $300 up to 18 hrs with $10/hr with a cap on $360. The fee can vary as I tend to work with people, and the fee is different if there is a scheduled c-section. I meet with the mom for 3 prenatal appointments while I get to know her and formulate a birth plan, stay with her for her entire labor until she's settled into postpartum. I visit with her in the hospital and discuss what happened during labor, see if she has any questions, and I also write a keepsake story of the baby's birth. I love to keep in contact with my clients, the door is always open if they have questions, etc.

    Also, the site above is to Doulas of North America. There you can find a list of certified doulas in your area if you'd like to hire one.

    Feel free to visit my personal website as well:
    http://members.cox.net/kath-doula. I have a lot of information on there and recommended reading for those expecting as well as for those wanting to become doulas.

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to PM me.

    Katherine
  10. by   BabyRN2Be
    Sorry, I knew I forgot something.

    There are two types of doulas: labor and postpartum doulas.

    Labor doulas work with the mom before and during labor formulating and carrying out birth plans, doing non-pharmacologic comfort measures (massage, accupressure, position changes, emotional support, etc.). They are also very useful supporting the dad - since we are there, dad is more free to take a snooze, go for a snack, take a breather. In my hospital, we are allowed to go back for c-sections with the father. He sits down with the mom and I stand behind him. I can tell him what's going on with the surgery, when the doc has the head out, baby out, etc. When the dad leaves to take the baby to the nursery, I stay with mom and comfort her during the rest of the surgery. We can also help initiate breastfeeding, if necessary.

    A postpartum doula focuses on what can be done for the mom after the birth. She is trained in basic mother/baby care, can do light housework, meal preparation, help with the other kids. This is especially helpful for the mom who has had a c-section, but is also helpful for those who've delivered vaginally as well.

    Both are certified by such organizations as Doulas of North America and CAPPA.

    Above all, doulas have their own job which is very different from the nurses. We do NOT interfere with their job. We can give suggestions, but we don't do any medical procedures for the mom (vag checks, bp checks, heart tone checks - however, at our hospital we can unplug/plug monitors if mom wants to go for a walk). The medical procedures fall into the realm of the nurse. We provide non-pharmacologic support, and try to follow the requests of the birth plan if feasible. If parts of the birth plan can not be followed, we do not argue - things come up and may not be possible. We do have the goal of the nurse - do everything possible to ensure the result of a healthy mom and baby.

    There's so much more that I could go into, but this should do for now.

    Hopefully this will help to answer any questions.

    Katherine
  11. by   RNPATL
    BabyRN2Be - thank you for all the great information. You must be well loved and respected by the Mothers that have entrusted their delivery experience to you. I know my mother will be very pleased with all the information. I am going to send you a PM and give you her email address. If you would send her an email, I know she would love to have a Doula Friend. Thanks again.

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