How Much Does a Doula Cost
A doula is a birth professional who supports pregnant people and expecting families prenatally, during labor, and after delivery during the tender first days and weeks of the fourth trimester.
While a doula is non-clinical and offers no medical support, doulas provide emotional, educational and physical support. A doula’s support and services are available at all price ranges but their impact is immeasurable, and worth considering for all expecting families.
Having the support of a doula decreases the likelihood of a cesarean birth, reduces the use of pain relieving medications like epidurals, increases the likelihood of successful lactation, decreases the incidences of postpartum depression and also increases positive birthing experiences! During postpartum, new parents were approximately five times more likely to experience postpartum depression if they received no support or minimal support after the birth of the baby. but postpartum doulas are there to fill the gap.
There are all kinds of doulas at all costs
Doulas come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Each one, from the novice to the pro, has a set of life experiences and training that makes them unique. For this reason you will find that what doulas charge can vary greatly. A newer birth doula, who perhaps has yet to attend their first birth may offer their services for free in exchange for your evaluation for their certification, or for a few hundred dollars per birth, or for more if they have a lot of other valuable experience.
A new postpartum doula may also volunteer some time in exchange for your signing off on their certification or for $20-$30 per hour. A doula with a few years of experience may charge from $1500-$2500. A very experienced birth doula who has attended hundreds of births may charge $3000, $5000 or more. The range is vast and will also vary according to where you live.
What other factors will affect the price of a doula?
Finding the right doula isn’t just about how much you can afford to pay. If you are expecting twins it may be more important for you to hire a doula who has experience supporting families with multiples, over a doula who has attended 200 single births. The doula for you will have a level of experience that you are comfortable with, and can offer additional support in areas that are of interest to you.
Generally speaking, the biggest reason for different asking fees has to do with the number of births that each doula has attended. Other contributing factors are the additional training and support that each doula is qualified to give, for example lactation consulting, hypnobirthing, childbirth education, placenta encapsulation, prenatal yoga, prenatal massage, reiki, pregnancy/postnatal fitness, birth photography, newborn care, sleep training, nutrition counseling and more.
How do I find a doula in my budget?
Finding a doula can seem overwhelming and confusing – Boober exists to solve this! Our platform can help make it easy to match you with the right doula. We pride ourselves in helping parents find the right doula for them which includes a personalized interview with a Care Connector if you select “concierge”. If you don’t want to talk, we’ll send you a few great doulas to interview with. Once you have reached out to a few, it will be time to schedule interviews so you can learn more about what they have to offer. See our blog on “Questions to ask a doula before hiring” for help during the hiring process.
How do I pay for my doula?
Doula support is invaluable, but when doula care feels out of reach, know there are different and creative ways to have your doula support paid for:
- Put it on your registry and have friends and family contribute. At boober friends and family can buy you a gift card in any amount to go toward care.
- Doula services are eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and health reimbursement accounts (HRA) with a letter of medical necessity. They are not eligible for reimbursement with dependent care flexible spending accounts and limited-purpose flexible spending accounts (LPFSA).
- Many doulas provide payment plans or sliding scale services to families in need. Ask if your doula offers a sliding scale.
- Consider newer doulas who may be interested in gaining experience for little to no money.
- There are programs available to some that offer free or low cost doula care such as The By My Side Doula Support program and Ancient Song Doula services. There may be eligibility requirements.
- Medicaid coverage in certain states.
No matter what your budget is, consider hiring a doula because they help with mentally preparing you for birth, educating you about your birthing options, writing a birth preferences sheet (plan, physical support during labor, help with knowing when and how to transfer to your birth location, breastfeeding/bodyfeeding assistance, newborn care and help around the house.
Pregnancy is a beautiful and sometimes scary process, because of all the unknowns. We can all benefit from the support of a trained professional who has your preferences and wishes in mind. No matter what your budget is, there is a doula and a cost that is right for you.
Laura is a doula, having served clients in both New York and in mid-Michigan. She is a wife and the mother of two, a toddler and a teen. When Laura is not supporting new families or her own, you can find her trying out fun new recipes. Laura is available on the boober platform for matches.