We are proud and humbled to help you navigate your birth and postpartum team-building journey. These are just a few of the common questions we are asked. Do you have a question not listed? Come to our monthly Meet the Doulas! night or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I find a doula?
By using Iowa Doula Agency, you will get an opportunity to meet multiple doulas in person or digitally here. Even better, do both! Personalities shine through in the digital biographies of our doulas – a great way to prepare questions for when you meet us all in person at our monthly “Meet the Doulas! night, held on the second Monday of each month.
What does a relationship with a doula look like?
Birth: You will have two to three meetings with your Iowa Doula Agency doula. During these prenatals you will discuss your goals and desires for the birth of your baby, as well as any fears or anxieties you have about the process. Your doula will love to speak with you about comfort measures that you may enjoy, as well as offer help writing a birth plan. A normal doula-client relationship includes active communication via email or text throughout the pregnancy.
During the birth of your baby, your doula will provide continuous support to both you and your birth partner. She will be there to ease fears and answer questions and to provide you emotional and physical support during this journey. Your doula will also stay about an hour after your baby is born to encourage skin to skin and help with breastfeeding.
Postpartum: You and your postpartum doula will meet one to two times to discuss your expected care needs and other support that may be beneficial. A schedule will be agreed upon, including start/end date and start/end times.
You may also text / email your postpartum doula during your pregnancy and through your time at the hospital, especially if any plan changes that could impact how you recouperate postpartum (like a planned vaginal birth turning into a planned Cesarean).
At the start of your doula’s shift, she will help evaluate what support you need during that shift, while knowing that is flexible. Throughout your time with her, open communication about what you’re feeling and experiencing is desired.
How much does a doula cost?
Our range of doula services and fees are sure to meet any budget and experience need.
Birth: Hire a Certifying doula (a doula still completing her certification) for $475, a Certified doula for $675, or a Certified Experienced doula (has demonstrated professional excellence in numerous births) for $875. For a comparison chart on investment fees, head here.
Postpartum: Our postpartum fees are also separated out by both experience level and number of hours provided. Ranging from $255 – $985, we’re sure you’re going to be able to gain exactly what you need – peace of mind during this transitory time. For a comparison chart on investment fees, head here.
What if I can't afford a doula?
We understand that sometimes, financial restraints impact our quality of life in one way or another. The good news is that we can work with you to provide not only a doula who you will love to work with, but we can also work with your budget. A few things to consider:
- If you were looking to hire a Certified or Certified Experienced doula, consider hiring a student doula who would love to not only support you, but also use your birth as a learning experience that will benefit many others in her future career.
- Consider writing a monthly budget and cut out extraneous costs so that your finances can accept the value of a doula. Re-evaluate your priorities in a way that puts the importance of the birth of your child higher than other possible events that cost you money. How much did you spend on your wedding? What price can you put on such a transformative event as birthing your baby?
- Iowa Doula Association is happy to work with you on writing a payment plan that fits your needs. IDA also accepts credit card payments.
- Knowing that doulas may lower your hospital bills by helping you to progress through your labor without pain medication or a Cesarean surgical birth, write to or call your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of a doula. Did they deny your request? Write and call again…and again…and again. 🙂
- HSA monies will cover the cost of a doula. Check with the HR department within your employer to see if your HSA is funded.
- Iowa Doula Agency is proud to offer a doula through our Scholarship Program. For more info, click here.
Which care providers do you work with?
Iowa Doula Agency is happy to work with any provider in the service area; however, a specific doula may have particular requirements about births she will support.
Do you only attend home births?
Absolutely not! Any Iowa Doula Agency doula will be happy to attend your birth wherever you choose.
What if I want an epidural?
That’s totally okay! We know that each woman has different goals and aspirations for her birth. It is not a doula’s job to dictate how you birth your baby or to assume that one way is better to birth than any other.
Even if you know you want an epidural, please talk with your doula about risks and benefits of this procedure. Talk with your doula about your goals and desired comfort measures, about what to do if the epidural doesn’t work, and what to do if the anesthesiologist can’t get to you quickly. We want you to, above all else, make informed decisions about your care.
What if my postpartum shifts are over but I'm not comfortable being alone yet?
We have add-on hour options just for this scenario. Talk with your doula about if her schedule can accommodate more support for you.
Are there any specific rules a doula has to follow?
Just like other practical careers, a certifying or certified doula has a scope of practice and standards by which she has to abide, set by her certifying body. Iowa Doula Association only hires doulas who are certified or obtaining certification through DONA International (www.dona.org), CAPPA (www.cappa.net), or ICEA (www.icea.org). Moreover, Iowa Doula Agency has it’s own Scope of Practice that our doulas will follow. Iowa Doula Agency guarantees that our doulas will be knowledgable about proper practice within your birthing environment.
How do I become an IDA doula?
We would love to hear from you! Click here for more information on how to start your own doula journey.
Are there other services provided?
Yes! Iowa Doulas Agency offers quite a range of services, including a calendar of classes and our in-house placenta encapsulationist, mental health therapist, and lactation consultant. Owner Andrea Shandri is also Des Moines’ first and only professional doula and birth photographer!