What a weird title! You want a doula who you connect with easily. Perhaps one you can build a bit of a relationship with prior to birth. You may be looking for one you can afford. However, you may also want an experienced, trained and perhaps certified doula. You may want one who is part of a group of experienced doulas who back each other up in rare cases when it is needed. You may desire a doula who will be with you throughout your whole labor no matter how long. You may want a doula who charges a flat fee, no additional charges for longer labors and for “false starts.” You may want a doula who is available to chat on the phone or via email during your pregnancy that offers tips to help you along the way. You may hope that your doula will assist you in considering your labor options prior to labor beginning. She may even provide a private prenatal meeting with you and your partner to discuss your birth ideals in depth. Some may want their labor doula to follow up with a postnatal meeting to check in on how having a new baby is going. Guess what? Labor of Love provides doulas who fit every one of those desires.
There are different doula offerings in the metro area. Some charge a fee for interviews. Ours are free. Some follow shared call- meaning you do not know for certain who your doula will be. Some provide services as a package to classes that they offer- meaning you must buy the package. Some charge for extra meetings or if you call to meet them at the hospital and are then sent home. Some will charge you a fee for your labor up to 12 hours and then it is an hourly rate after that without a cap. Some will have a trip or event that pops up, becomes their priority and they will find the last minute back up doula whom you have never met.
There are a few medical groups in town who feel so strongly that a doula can make a difference- as does the evidence in the studies- that they offer a reduced rate or help offset the fee or even have volunteer doulas. This is wonderful. At least it is wonderful if you are not looking for some of the things mentioned earlier. Many of these provider doula offerings are a great way for the inexperienced, new doula to get some experience. That is great for her. But if you are looking for experienced doulas, this may not be what is offered. Some of the provider doulas are regulated by having a 24-hour call. They are told when to meet the mom in labor. They have no prior relationship with the doula and no postnatal contact either.
So the saying, “You get what you pay for,” may be true here. Consider all of your options. All doulas do not work the same. Understand that everyone is not following the same code of ethics, sharing the same philosophy. Experience, continuous support prenatally and during birth, a one-on-one relationship and birth philosophy may not be as important to you. However if it is, we hope you will consider Labor of Love doulas.
What makes us unique? This is an article that shares more about what makes us different.