What do doulas do?
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How much does this cost?
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A baby nurse is there primarily to take over the care of the infant. A postpartum doula's role is to take care of the mother (and her household, other children, or whatever is needed) so that she has the energy to nurture and bond with her newborn. We are also there to educate, so that the family eventually feels confident in caring for their new baby on their own.
In the past, many new mothers had their mothers, grandmothers, and aunties nearby at the time of a birth. Families naturally came together to support new parents. These days, we don't always have that option. Families may be spread apart, or too busy with their own lives to travel to a new family and stay to get them settled into their new routines.
In addition, if mama has had a surgical birth, she may be physically unable to handle household work and basic baby care. I can be an extra set of hands, and take over the tasks that are too exerting in the first few weeks and months of recovery.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth tends to:
Result in shorter labors with fewer complications
Reduce negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
Reduce the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
Reduce the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
I can't make any promises about the outcome of your birth, but I can promise you that I will be with you every step of the way.
I like to meet with a family before a birth to discuss what they think their postpartum needs will be. We can come up with an initial agreement that outlays our plan for the time immediately after birth. Sometimes, you may decide that you need more or fewer hours than originally anticipated. I am always flexible, and will adapt to your needs. Generally, I work a minimum of four hours per shift, and as many as eight hours. I can come in one day a week, or for several hourseach day, depending on your needs. Special arrangements (and additional cost) may be made for overnight shifts.
I will keep baby with me all night, tend to their needs, and bring them to mama for breastfeeding. After I have settled baby, washed pump and bottle parts, folded baby laundry, or whatever else needs doing, I will stay near baby and rest while s/he sleeps. I do not stay fully awake all night to care for baby. Part of my goal in becoming a doula is to normalize life with a baby. Healthy, full term infants do not require 24/7 monitoring, so that isn't what I do when in your home.
Generally, I charge $30 an hour for postpartum or consulting services; an additional hourly charge is added for night time hours or multiple babies. An all inclusive birth support package is usually $1,100. If you would like to combine services, I can arrange a discounted package. If finances are an issue, a sliding scale can be arranged. Please talk to me. I'd love to help you, and everyone who wants a doula should be able to have access to one!
PLEASE NOTE: these prices are going to go up slightly as of February 1, 2020. Contracts signed before then will adhere to previous rates.