If you have had a doula you will know that a doulas presence is invaluable. If you haven’t had the opportunity of learning first hand what a doula does please take the time to read and listen to reviews, scientific articles, blogs, magazines, podcasts, books, and social media (please see the links provided below)
Primarily doulas support women through pregnancy, birth, and the post partum period. Not necessarily to have a natural, drug free birth absent of all modern and medical support often we are getting water, carrying bags, holding monitors and heat packs in place.
There is a problem, being a doula as a job is not sustainable financially, working in a relatively unknown industry, paying for our own training, also being business owners with all those expenses financially and hours upon hours upon hours of our unpaid time. This has led to doula prices raising and raising and suddenly I am hearing within the industry “doulas are a luxury not a right” “If they are that disadvantaged than maybe they should look for affordable food and nappies, not cheap doulas” Doulas are now marketing themselves as products. They are “charging their worth” and “making a living wage” The issues I have with this is
A) no one could possible pay me what I am worth, there is no dollar value you can give me to compensate for the hours on call, time away from my family, 3am wake ups, and labours that last for days
B) should one person be paid more because they chose to own and pay a mortgage on an expensive home and holiday overseas every year? Do I deserve less because I keep my expenses low? and
C) doulas are NOT a product.
Doulas represent many positive changes today, women all over the world, including doulas, have been called in to action to bring awareness to womens issues, gender equality, slut shaming, body positivity, obstetric violence, birth trauma, abuse, women’s health, informed consent vs informed choice, depression, feeding aversion, the need for post natal support, the need for community support for breastfeeding to work, participative health care. I witness these women tirelessly devote hours of time, giving up much sleep to keep the fires burning, to wipe the brows, lessen the pain, and protect that which IS of value.
By hiring a doula your are not only honouring your value and the value of your experience, you are also acknowledging the value of an industry that is pushing boundaries, changing laws, fighting for choices, respect, to be heard. An industry that without your help will all but disappear and what will be left? A luxury. A product only attainable to the highest bidder.