Is having a doula "worth it"?
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
“Are you going to hire a doula?”
Some women that get this question answer, “I would love to hire a doula but they are so expensive.”
I want to walk you through some of my thoughts when I hear this excuse as well as some ways to afford a doula!
You probably know all of the benefits of having a doula but I’ll go over just a few anyways.
C-sections by 25%
Need for Pain medications by 15%
The length of labor by 41 minutes
Dissatisfaction of birth experience by 31%**
If these benefits are a priority to you then finding and hiring a doula would 100% be worth every penny you pay her!
2. Your midwife and nurses will support you but its not the same:
Your midwife and nurses are there for medical support. Their job is to make sure that you and your baby are safe. They monitor vitals, give medical opinions, chart, do cervical checks and have a vital role in your birth.
Your doula has a DIFFERENT role. She is there for emotional, spiritual and physical support. She is there to hold space to ask the questions you need to in order to make a decision, keeps you hydrated, calm and moving. She puts you in different positions to facilitate a smooth labor and she can give ideas to your partner on how to be involved. She works only for you. She answers only to you, she has the best for you in mind. This different role is vital as well.
She works only for you. She answers only to you, she has the best for you in mind.
Your birth team should be made up of people you know, trust and feel safe around. When you feel safe your body is able to take over and do what it was designed to do. You can hire and get to know your doula as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test. She will be there throughout your pregnancy to support you during the highs and lows. She will be your birth bestie.
3. Is your doula really expensive?
Let’s break down the cost of a doula for a minute. The average cost of a doula in the United States is 1,200 so we will go off of that number. Let’s say you hire her when you are find out you’re pregnant:
40 Weeks of Unlimited Call and Text Support- $50/week = $2000
2 Prenatal Visits- $25= $50
2 Weeks of being on call- $2/hour x 336 hours = $672
Unlimited hours of support during your birth - $12 per hour/20 hours= $240
One Postpartum Visit- $25
Total Cost of what a doula SHOULD be: $2,987
If your doula costs the average amount you would be saving $1,787!
The work that doulas do is valuable. The time they spend away from their families is worth something. Doulas do this work because they love birth and they love their clients but they also have a family to feed at home. I think doulas fear talking about money because if they do they feel like their clients will think they are selfish or doing it for the money. I will tell you that there is no doula I have ever met or heard of that does this for the money. Hear my heart when I say that when you invest in something or a service you will value it more. If you're still stuck on if you should hire a doula or not and you need some ideas on how to afford one here is a small list of ideas for you!
How to afford a doula:
Barter- If you have something to trade then ask! It’s not a guarantee that your doula will have use for what you’re offering BUT it is worth asking. This is not uncommon.
Ask for a discount or payment plan- Doulas want you to be able to hire a doula. Most will do their very best to work with you to find a way to afford her services.
Use your FSA/HSA account- Doula services are eligible for reimbursement with your FSA or HSA. Call your company and ask your doula if they accept this form of payment.
Use your Tax Refund- Invest it in your birth experience. You are only going to give birth to that baby ONE time. Make the experience enjoyable.
Add a doula to your baby registry or have a “Doula fund” at your baby shower- This is MY favorite! Not only are you getting help with affording your doula but you are also sending a message that your birth matters.
I understand that hiring a doula can seem non-essential and overwhelming. Our culture see birth as just something to survive in order to have a baby instead of an experience where you can THRIVE and enjoy. This belief can hinder our decision making. Your birth matters… you matter… hire a doula.
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