How to pay for your doula
While doulas are worth it, you may wonder how you can afford to pay for your doula. Doula support may feel out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be! The work that birth and postpartum doulas do is extremely important! Research shows that hiring a doula can decrease your likelihood of needing a cesarean birth, decrease requests for pain medications, decreases the length of labor, and increases your level of satisfaction with your birth. No wonder so many families choose to hire doulas to support them during pregnancy and childbirth!
Here are some ways to make doula care more affordable.
How to Pay for Your Doula?
Register for doula care
Put it on your baby 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.
Ask for a superbill from your doula
Ask your doula for a “superbill” (a detailed receipt outlining the services you received) that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Some health insurance plans in some states will pay for doula care, so call your insurance carrier to ensure you are not missing out on an opportunity to get the support you need covered.
FSA HSA and HRA cover doula cost
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. PLEASE NOTE: They are not eligible for reimbursement with dependent care flexible spending accounts and limited-purpose flexible spending accounts (LPFSA).
Set up a payment plan
Many doulas provide payment plans or sliding scale services to families who demonstrate a need.
Ask about sliding scale
Ask your doula if they Offer a sliding scale on their fee or If they will accept payment over time.
A newer doula could be the solution for you
Consider hiring a newer doula, who may be interested in gaining valuable experience for a small fee, or sometimes for free!
Work with a community doula based program
Find a program in your city or state that offers free or low-cost doula care, such as the By My Side Doula Support program, through Healthy Start Brooklyn. (PLEASE NOTE: there may be eligibility requirements.)
Medicaid and doula care
As of November 2021, in Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon, Medicaid will cover doula care. Many more states are slated to follow suit in the near future.
What Goes Into a Doula Fee?
If you are curious about how much doulas charge for their offerings, it is essential to remember that 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. If a doula has attended fewer births, but has valuable skills in another related area, such as massage or yoga, they may only charge you a few hundred dollars per birth.
A doula with a few years of experience may charge anywhere from $1,000-$2,500 for their support. A very experienced birth doula who has attended hundreds of births may charge $2500-$5,000 or even more.
Postpartum doulas, on the other hand, will likely charge you by the hour or in packages of hours. Postpartum doulas charge anywhere between $30-$80 per hour and may require a minimum number of hours to book. The range is vast and in addition to the doula’s skill set and background, may vary according to where you live.
It’s important to note that some doulas charge based on their areas of expertise or the certifications they hold. Doulas may be experts in lactation counseling, hypnobirthing, childbirth education, placenta encapsulation, prenatal yoga, prenatal massage, reiki, pregnancy/postnatal fitness, birth photography, newborn care, sleep training, nutrition consulting, and more.
Between You and Your Doula, It Is All About The Right Fit
Finding the right doula isn’t just about how much you can afford to pay or the number of births they have attended. More than anything, finding a doula who is the right fit for you will make the difference in your birth and postpartum period. For many parents, the right fit may mean an easy personality connection. For others, it is shared life experience, shared background like race, religion, ethnicity, or other factors That makes the Doula right for them. For example, if you are expecting twins, it may be more important for you to hire a doula who has closely worked with a few families with multiples, rather than a doula who has attended 200 singleton births. The right 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.
Start Your Doula Search Early (Enough)
Finding a doula can seem overwhelming and confusing if you don’t know where to start. But Boober exists to solve this exact problem! Our platform makes it easy to match you with the right doula for your particular needs and circumstances. We pride ourselves on helping parents find personalized care with the help of our Care Connectors who will call you to chat if you select our “concierge” service. Even if you don’t want to talk with a Care Connector, we will send you some information about a few great doulas based on the criteria you set. From there, we encourage you to schedule interviews with the doulas you are interested in so that you can learn more about what they have to offer. Make sure to check out our blog post on “Questions to ask a doula before hiring” for help during the hiring process!
No matter what your budget is, consider hiring a doula. You’ll thank yourself for the gift of doula care which can include: mentally preparing you for birth, educating yourself about birthing options, writing a birth preferences sheet (or birth plan), assisting with pain coping techniques during labor, initiating/sustaining breastfeeding/bodyfeeding, and getting support with newborn care and help around the house.
Photo by: 13th and Madison
Laura is a doula, a writer, and the mother of two incredible kids. When not supporting new families or her own, you can find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen. Laura is available on the boober platform for matches.