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FAQs

How much do you cost?

Most packages have a range of prices, with optional add-ons. The most popular package is $1600. Placenta Encapsulation packages start at $325. Postpartum support is $38 per hour. 

 

Please reach out to discuss pricing. I do not want money to get in the way of you working with a doula, especially for BIPOC and LGBTQ families, and I do offer payment plans as well as alternatives.

Read more about doula pricing

Doula Services
Queer doula Melissa Haley of Chicago supports vaginal hospital birth and induction
Queer doula Melissa Haley of Chicago sets up birth tub for peaceful water birth

What is a doula?

A doula supports birth physically, emotionally, and educationally. We squeeze your hips to help make just a little extra room for baby. We hold your hand or just hold space when things get tense or tough. We know a lot about birth and help you advocate in the birth room. We offer encouragement and guidance to both you and your birth team. Unlike medical professionals, we offer continuous support throughout the whole labor and birth. 

Read more about what a doula does

Do you catch babies?

No! The biggest difference between a doula and a midwife is that doulas are not medically trained. You might be thinking of a midwife: a trained medical professional who can deliver a baby a home, in a birth center, or at a hospital. 

I do not conduct any medical examinations or do any medical procedures (e.g., checking blood pressure, administering medicine, make a diagnosis). I do not currently attend births with no medical provider present, also known as freebirths.

Queer doula Melissa Haley of Chicago gives client a hip squeeze at Northwestern Prentice Women's Hospital
Queer doula Melissa Haley of Chicago supports labor and birth at a home birth with help from partner

Photo by Erin Loughlin

Do you replace my partner?

Partners are often nervous that I will replace them. I never could, and I don't want to! I like to say that the ideal number of support people for birth is 3 because birth is (usually) long and tiring for everyone. 

 

Birth is an experience, and both the birthing person and their family all deserve support. If you are the team, your partner is the coach and I am the trainer getting you stronger and more fit for labor and birth. 

Read some tips & tricks for partners

How do you advocate?

Every situation is different, but I always aim to be professional and polite. If I can see that you need some help, I will open that up for you by asking you questions. My classic line is to ask if we can have a little time to think. We might make a plan privately, or take some time to breathe and discuss. We can talk more in a consult about your specific concerns and how I might address them.

Usually everyone else is there for the baby. I am there to hold you.

Photo by Jacinta Lagos

Queer doula Melissa Haley of Chicago supports client at unmedicated vaginal hospital birth at Northwestern Prentice Hospital

When do I call you?

Any time! I have good boundaries so you don't have to. For labor specifically, during our prenatal conversations we cover all the possible signs and symptoms of labor. Then, as your birth day approaches, we will be in frequent communication. Unless labor begins suddenly and progresses rapidly (which is *extremely* rare even though everyone seems to know one person who had a fast labor), we will likely talk several times and decide together when I should come.

tl:dr When you need me!

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