I recently heard of more than one horror story about "doulas" doing free births. It goes like this:
A client was trying to save money because cost was adding up. She found a doula that was in training and would do it for free. You can't beat free, right? Don't get me wrong, I am sure she meant well, and did not mean any harm...she simply did not know what to do in certian situations that training didn't cover and simply did not have the experience yet. There have also been situtions where the "doula" was not vested in the birth, meanins that since she didn't pay the doula, she ended up missing a birth. There was a client was STRANDED during her labor, and birth, and not to mention, terrified and stressed. The doula had no back up (because she wasn't gonna pay one to attend the birth). That doesnt mean that every free/low cost doula has these short comings, but you better believe that a well paid doula has your best interest at heart, has a back up and a plan, and wants to make you and your family happy! Invest in your birth, yourself, and invest in your care.
There are ways to afford doula care! Ask me how!!!
Check references, read contracts. Don't trust this special event with just anyone!
If you are thinking about doula services, check this out!