I was thinking the other day about a solution to the situation I often encounter: being contacted by someone who cannot find a doula
, but who I can't take on myself for whatever reason. I worry about these women wanting doulas
but not being able to find one.
My solution: the Drop-In Doula
. It would work like this. I would give the woman all of my contact numbers, tell her to call me when she's in labor, and agree to come if I can. If I come, I charge an hourly rate (sliding scale...maybe $20-$50/hr?) with a maximum
equal to my regular fee. I would provide postpartum care as I usually do.
If I couldn't come, the woman is in no worse a position than she originally was.
This is only a solution when the woman can't find any other doula
. Obviously it's not optimal. There are no prenatal meetings to build rapport and learn the woman's needs/preferences. But it would provide a better than 50/50 chance she'd still get the support she wants in labor.
After my last (long, as usual) birth, a colleague proposed another type of doula
. The Doula Drill Sargent
. This would be the doula
who comes in -- good cop, bad cop style -- when labor has reached a plateau or the mother, for whatever reason, isn't responding to "typical" doula
encouragement and support. The Doula
Drill Sargent would enter and begin barking out things like, "Do you think this is pain? I'll give you pain. Drop and do 20 pushups." Or, "Your mama ain't gonna help you out of this one. You gotta do it yourself. Now let's cut the crap and have a baby." It is probably worth noting that this colleague has not given birth herself.