Women's Health

Finding a Doula

Get physical and emotional support before and during your delivery

Are you expecting a baby and want some help? Yes, you have a doctor to help, but a doula can also help make a huge difference when giving birth. Read more about what a doula does and the benefits of having one in the delivery room.

What is a doula? A doula is a trained and certified worker that provides physical and emotional support for pregnant women before and during your delivery. They can also provide some help after you give birth, too, by helping you get used to motherhood, breastfeeding and handling a newborn so you gain confidence in being a mom.

What does a doula do? They help answer questions a pregnant woman has, calm their fears and help create a birth plan, which is a set of guidelines that you create to have the birth you want. While doulas are in the delivery room helping to coach mothers, they do not provide any medical services. But if complications arise, they can help answer any questions and help a mother understand what her options are.

It’s not just a “white thang.” Yeah, this may sound hippie-dippie to some, but trust: This is a trend that is becoming more popular among African-American women and women of color. Soul singer Erykah Badu is a doula, and there are a number of organizations around the United States focused on black doulas.

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Understand the benefits of having a doula. Giving birth ain’t easy, and many of you may need help. Women with doulas have lower rates of c-sections and epidural use, and have shorter delivery times. Plus, they are more likely to be satisfied with their birthing experience and have less stress during delivery.

Who needs a doula? Anyone can have a doula. However, anxious mothers or moms who are having their first baby tend to like the extra support.

How much do doulas cost? Depending on how often you meet and what you agree to for a package, a doula can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,200, says Fit Pregnancy. FYI: Most health insurance plans don’t cover the cost of doulas.

Doulas also help the dad. Moms-to-be aren’t the only ones who may need extra support in the delivery room; fathers can get stressed out as well. Doulas are there to help fathers remain calm and teach them ways to soothe and calm the mother during the delivery.

Find a doula in your area. Interested in finding a doula? Talk to your doctor, health-care provider, local health-care department or family and friends for a recommendation. When you interview potential doulas, ask them how many births they have done, for references from other families they have helped, what they cost and what the package will offer. Go here to find a black doula in your area.

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