Molly Murray - Birth, Life, and Business Doula
''I can't afford a doula. How can I set myself up for success in my birth without the added support?''
Hey everyone! I recently wrote a blog post titled, ''Are Doulas worth the investment? Yes. Here are 5 reasons why.'' (you can read this post here). It's been very well recieved, with many people saying, ''Yes! 100% Doulas are worth the investment!''
I love that so many people are in agreement.
But I have to tell you, I realize that I am coming from a place of privilege and in that post, assuming that whoever is reading HAS the funds, they just don't know if a doula is worth the investment.
Here's where I let you in on little/big secret: I could not afford a doula!
When I had my daughter, I was 21 years old and was serving tables at Don Pablo's. I made barely enough to get by...and if someone would have mentioned hiring a doula, I would have laughed. One, because I wouldn't have known what a doula was or valued the service...and two, because I could have never dreamed of being able to hand over a full month's worth of my income to have the extra support at my birth.
We could barely even afford groceries.
Now, I could write a post about how you can SAVE for a doula... but like I said, the only thing we were saving for was our next meal and the basic bills.
I wanted to write this post to empathize with readers who are either in this position or know someone who is.
7 things you can do for a better birth experience, without hiring a doula.
1. Choose a supportive care provider and birth place.
Choosing a physician or midwife that will support you through your pregnancy and provide you with information, resources and support throughout your time together and one who respects a family's right to be informed of all her options and make the best decision, is a good care provider indeed! There are many care providers in the area who are wonderful AND accept Medicaid, if that is your insurance. Feel free to message me for a list.
2. Take a childbirth class..
There are many super low cost options available through the local hospitals. Christ Hospital, for instance, has a 5 week series that is led by a doula, for less than $80. Many hospitals or childbirth educators have scholarships available. Feel free to message me if you need help finding a class.
3. Research your options
This is your birth. This is your birth. This is your birth.
You have options. Click here for a HUGE list of reading recommendations and resources.
4. Focus on your breath
Your breath is with you always and through any birth. From birth without an epidural to birth with an epidural, all the way to a birth by cesarean.. You always have your breath. Make focusing on your breath a practice in your daily life and carry it with you always.
5. Eat good food. Focus on getting more fruits and vegetables and less processed food and very little junk food. As hard as it can be, plan your grocery list around cooking your meals at home and try to stick to it.
6. Keep moving. Pregnancy is not the time to go stagnant. Labor and birth are very physical events. Labor is like running a marathon, even if you never leave the hospital room. Your body has to work hard to birth your baby, so treat it well. YouTube is a great resource for those who can't afford a gym memberships. But even just taking a 30 minute walk/day will help keep your strength and endurance up for labor!
7. Go in with the mindset that your body is meant to birth your baby AND with the knowing that you will do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby.
Try not to get super focused on how your baby will get here but rather with the knowing that you are strong and capable, and fully supported. You can do this! Your baby was made for you and you for your baby.
You are a good mother, no matter how you birth your baby!
I hope you've enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to offer your feedback and share with your friends.
If you would like to donate to a fund for families who cannot afford my full fee for childbirth classes or doula services, click the button below.
Cincinnati Mother, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Founder of the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network.