I am pregnant and planning a home birth and would like to hire a doula, but don’t have much extra money for the extra expense. Should I forgo hiring a doula and rely on the support of my midwife and husband? Or should I try to find a doula who will work with me financially?
I see a few different ways to about discovering an answer to this question.
First of all, I’d like to make it known that I absolutely see the benefits of having a doula present at a home birth. A doula provides emotional and physical support to laboring women that is unmatched. She has been trained to do so. I personally wouldn’t birth without my “dream team,” doula and midwife combo.
That being said, a doula’s support is definitely not always necessary for every woman who chooses to give birth at home (although I strongly recommend hiring a doula for hospital births!). Home birth can be a wonderfully intimate experience shared with the laboring mother and her partner, with their midwife on hand as needed.
My advice in 3 steps:
#1: Consult with your midwife and talk with her about what kind of support she commonly provides. Talk to her about your ideal birth. What kind of support are you looking for? Hands on or hands off? Some of this you might not know until you’re in labor. That’s okay. Just speak openly.
#2: If after you speak with your midwife you should still feel dissatisfied, and long for another support person, begin interviewing doulas. Explain your situation to them. Some doulas are very interested in attending home births, those who barter or may take split payments. You never know until you ask.
#3: Perhaps you’re not exactly sure why you want to hire a doula in the first place, you’re just under the impression that you’re going to want a lot of support during the uncharted territory of a first home birth. That is a very natural feeling to have! Try creating a doula pro and con list. What are the reasons you’d like a doula there with you? Why might you not want a doula? Envision your ideal birth.
In the end, I have all the faith that your birth experience will be everything it is meant to be.