Let me tell you right now that you can.
With preparation and planning, you can hire the right doula for your family and not have to stress about the cost or lack of birth and postpartum assitance you want and need.
As someone who has spent a lot of time over the last several years assessing what my worth is when it comes to my field of work, I have learned two things: 1) My time is very valuable and 2) I deserve to be compensated for my time and expertise. You will hear this from most professional doulas who not only have a passion to help women and families, but who also want to be successful and earn a living wage for themselves and their families. As with any professional service, the price reflects the quality of service you are getting. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Keep in mind that you are paying for a service that may require your doula being on call 24/7; a service that may require rescheduling family trips or putting vacations on hold; a service that may take a mother away from her family for hours to be with you and yours; a service that requires maintaining professional memberships, trainings and certifications & continuing education; a personal service that caters to you. Being a doula requires a lot of time and attention to other people while making personal sacrifices along the way. We give you the best of us to help you and your family adjust to your new baby and life. But let's put money aside for the moment...
When you purchased your first new car, what did you do to get it?
Before you got married, did you hire a wedding planner? Someone to help oversee your plans and make your vision come to life?
When you were searching for your dream home, did you hire the top realtor to help you find it?
Even if you didn't do any of these things, you can have the desired support for your birth and postpartum period. Please note: Not all doulas are the same. And just the same, all families aren't either. We offer various means of support and services. We are trained by different organizations and practice differently because of it. We may charge different prices for the services we offer for various reasons. But we all want to give women and families the care and support they desire to thrive in our communities. Finding a doula for your family that gives you what you need and want should be your top concern, not cost.
Hiring a doula may seem like a daunting and expensive process, but the truth is that if you really want a doula, you can have one and not break the bank. All it takes is some financial planning.
For some families, cost is not an issue. And that is a blessing! But as doulas become more mainstream, more families desire to have that much needed care and support during birth and the fourth trimester. Here is a list of ways you can prepare financially when hiring a doula for your family:
- Insurance: Some insurance companies now offer full or partial reimbursement for childbirth classes, doula services and other pregnancy and birth related costs. All you need is a receipt to submit a claim. I advise that you call and ask your insurance company what expenses they will cover and/or reimburse you for.
- FSA/HSA: Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts are also great financial options when trying to pay for your doula services. Look into these options through your workplace to set aside money for your doula. Employers may contribute to these accounts and you will receive tax benefits as well. There are differences between an FSA and an HSA so please do your research and decide on the best option.
- Baby Registry: In lieu of traditional gifts, a family may make a customized baby registry that includes the cost of their doula and other pregnancy and birth related costs. BabyList is a great resource to do just this. It's simple to set up an account online or through their app and even grandparents can use it with ease.
- Baby Shower: Some expectant parents may choose to have their doula come to their baby shower and set up a display table or simply talk with their guests about what a doula is and how they can benefit the expectant family. This can help in getting others to donate to your doula fund.
- Saving the old fashioned way: Break out that mason jar and start saving! Commit to setting aside a weekly or monthly amount of money that you are comfortable with and don't touch it! Use your tax return to start your doula fund. Contribute any bonuses or extra income you may receive to ensure that you can pay for your doula services. Every dollar counts.
There are a few more alternative options as well such as barter/trade, volunteer doula services through hospitals and organizations such as Operation Special Delivery and even crowd-funding. Also, there are doulas like me who will arrange payment plans with families who request them.
Hiring a doula can be much easier if cost isn't an issue. For many, it is the difference in hiring a doula and not hiring a doula. The key is to start planning early and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Whether you are in your final trimester or you are just starting your family planning journey, it's never too early to start your doula fund.
Interested in hiring me as your doula? Find out more about my services and packages here.