In your childbirth classes, you’ll hear about the benefits of hiring a doula—a professional labor assistant that provides supplemental assistance in the birth of your baby. A doula can be well worth the added cost ($800-$2,500 depending upon region/extent of services), particularly if you have special needs regarding labor and childbirth, such as:
Mom really wants to labor naturally, without analgesics to minimize the pain.
Mom is scared of birth, and experienced assistance would give her needed confidence.
Mom is having twins or triplets, or trying to deliver vaginally after a previous C-section, or there are other worrisome, clinical issues.
Dad, due to job requirements, may not be able to be there.
Dad is scared of the delivery and worried he won’t be able to provide adequate assistance to mom.
Couples without special needs also use doulas, of course, with the upside being that mom is supported by a professional “coach,” versus an amateur (you). The doula will take on your role as primary coach, which enables you to participate but without all the responsibility.
The downside is that with a professional on hand, there isn’t much demand for an amateur. While some fathers-to-be may view this as an intrusion, most have reported they are able to relax and enjoy the birth experience knowing mom is being supported.