Let's face it. Babies can be expensive. If I had a dollar for every time someone expressed to me about the expenses of bringing a baby into the world, I wouldn't have to work. Look on Pintrest, there's a million and one ways to "cut your grocery bill", "extreme couponing", "how to save $1,000 in 90 days". There's also a tons of ways to cut costs for babies. Cloth diapering, second hand clothes, you get the picture. One thing that isn't wise to cut costs on in baby world, your doula.
There are a lot of different kinds of doulas, but it boils down to this
Professional vs. hobby doulas.
So how can you tell the difference? The clear cut giveaway.... the price.
Hobby doulas tend to have a strong passion for birth and some even believe that the client needs to be 'saved, reproductive justice ' and 'advocated for' during their birth, and that everyone deserves a doula, hence the low price. They work hard, don't get me wrong, until they're tired and not earning a living wage to support their family, and eventually tire out. Professional doulas do this work as their career, they do it 7 days a week, they take it very seriously and this is portrayed by their website, relationship with care providers and hospital nurses and certifications. They charge a living wage that is a representation of their time, dedication and commitment to your family.
Professionalism, you would assume that someone you're hiring would be a professional. This requires your doula to work within their scope and leaving certain situations up to your care providers. A professional doula will never provide medical exams or medical advice. They will always tell you to refer to your doctor or midwife for something beyond their scope. They will always have an open and professional relationship to everyone in your birth surrounding; whether that is at a hospital, birthing center or your home. A hobby doula may feel it is their place to advocate against your care providers wishes. In a hospital setting they may act hostile and have their guard up. They may also make medical diagnoses or recommendations that are out-of-scope for a doula.
Certification is essential to becoming a doula. Though there is no current legal licensing or schooling standards on doula work, it is pretty custom to take a training and become certified. A professional doula works to maintain her certifications and is constantly continuing her education. Our certification includes a detailed in person training, CPR classes, essays, reading, an in depth certification test packet, and finally, a yearly membership fee to her training organization and writing requirements. This membership to our certifying agency assures that we follow their strict guidelines over time and continues forth with their standards of professionalism. A hobby doula may have not taken an in person training, took a training and choose to not certify (typically because of disagreeably of standards of professionalism their training org. requires) or even worse, no training at all.
Relationship with Care Providers can be a huge red flag. A professional doula will always strive to maintain professionalism and positive vibes with OB's, Midwives and nurses in our area. They build bridges between the expecting mother and the medical staff, and not stepping on their toes during the birth. We are on your care provider's side. A hobby doula may have a hard time establishing this relationship due to overstepping boundaries in previous situations, wrongly questioning care providers and even worse, providing medical procedures/advise themselves.
So let's not learn the hard way that the money you're spending on a professional doula, will be well worth it in the long run. When you hire Northern Maryland Doula Services, you know you're hiring professional doulas. You will undoubtedly feel supported, validated, and confident you're with the best.