Who We Are
A Chicago Volunteer Doula is a labor support professional who has chosen to commit time and energy to helping pregnant people and their families in Chicago. Our doulas come from a variety of backgrounds. They are social workers, childcare workers, cab drivers, community organizers, accountants, stay-at-home moms, midwifery students, artists, activists, nurses, lawyers, teachers, yoga instructors and massage therapists.
Our doulas celebrate different racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and some are fluent in Spanish, Russian and Polish to name a few. CVD doulas include women, men and gender non-conforming or trans people, as well as members of both straight and LGBTQI communities. Some of our doulas have disabilities. No matter their background ALL of our doulas are committed to provide the best doula support to the clients they serve. If you feel you would not be comfortable receiving services from a doula who may not be from the same community as you or may have a different background we will be happy to refer you to a community based doula program or get you a list of private doulas.
All of our doulas have been trained by an accredited organization and many are certified. Some of our doulas are new to the profession while many have been supporting mothers in childbirth for years. Each doula has been interviewed by our administrators to ensure that they support our mission, have the necessary skills and are committed to our mission and the families we serve.
Who We Serve
Chicago Volunteer Doulas works with all families who make under $50,000/year and or meet vulnerable community criteria outline on our request for services. After you submit your request for doula services you are paired with a primary doula and a backup doula. The primary doula does most of the correspondence and plans to be at the birth. The backup doula is available to attend the birth in case the primary doula is unavailable. We have a large number of doulas that work with our organization to provide care to families. We are able to assist at all hospitals within the Chicago city limits and also include Evanston Hospital, West Suburban in Oak Park, Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn and the Birth Center in Berwyn.
What does a Traditional Birth Doula Do?
Chicago Volunteer Doulas provide low-cost doulas to people whose families earn an income of under $50,000/year and or people who fall into a vulnerable community category on our request.
After an application is filled out, we will match the client with a primary doula and a backup doula. The doulas establishes a relationship with the pregnant person and partner/support person. They encourage them to ask questions, express fears, hopes and other feelings, and to take an active role in their labor and birth.
Our doulas work in the traditional birth model to provide support to people and their families. A doula meets with the pregnant person and their partner/support person before labor begins and helps them plan the kind of childbirth they hope to have. When labor begins, the doula:
- Joins you in your home until its time to go to the hospital or will meet you directly at the hospital;
- Stays throughout the labor and delivery;
- Remains 1-2 hours after birth to make sure client is comfortable;
- Helps establish breastfeeding if needed;
- Returns within the week to make sure all is going well;
- Assists with any breastfeeding issues;
- Talks with the family to review and celebrate the labor and delivery;
- Remains available by phone for parental questions and concerns.
Chicago Volunteer Doulas are able to attend births at any hospital within the city limits of Chicago in addition to, Evanston Hospital (Evanston), West Suburban (Oak Park), Christ (Oak Lawn) and the PCC Wellness Birth Center in Berwyn. If you are delivering outside of Chicago, please contact us and we can give you a list of our doulas who work privately and they may be able to attend the birth at your local hospital. At this time, we do not provide doulas for home births.
How much does a Traditional Birth Doula cost?
We offer our services for free however we do ask for a donation to our organization. Private doulas in the Chicago area charge between $500 and $1000 per birth depending on their experience. Our doulas are volunteering their time and expertise. You can select a donation amount that is workable for your family, keeping in mind that the donation serves to help provide doulas for other clients. The donation goes towards the organization while the doula continues to work as a volunteer.
When to Donate
We ask that you submit half of your donation with the request for service and the other half at 38 weeks of pregnancy. The first half serves as a non-refundable deposit. When you submit the application, a Chicago Volunteer Doulas staff member will reach out to our doulas and assign one to you. You and the doula will continue the relationship from that point on. In order to keep costs low, we do not offer an opportunity to interview the doulas. If you are interested in interviewing many doulas, we'd be happy to send you a list of names of doulas that do private work whom you can contact on your own.
If you have more questions regarding Traditional Birth Doula Services please email firstname.lastname@example.org