Doulas are all the rage currently and for good reason. Doula support has been shown to decrease the length of labor, reduce the rate of cesarean sections, and overall improve the satisfaction of the birthing person, but this does come at a cost. Doulas spend their lives on call, rarely making plans for more than an hour away from home when on call, often missing family birthdays, school events and more, and arranging travel plans around clients due dates.
As a doula, I spend time with my clients twice prenatally, and usually in communication daily the last few weeks of pregnancy. I am on call 24/7 for 4 weeks for every client that hires me, and when it is “Baby time” I join my clients to support them for the duration of their labor and delivery, often this means getting up at all hours of the night and spending 10-20+ hours by my clients side. I love what I do but this is also my job and how I support my own family. My time and expertise is worth the cost, but that doesn’t always mean it is affordable in a lump sum.
Here are some different ways to help pay for your doula:
- Add it to your registry
I offer this to my clients to be able to add doula support to their registry. This is a great way to have family and friends chip in towards the cost of having a doula. Some families feel having doula support is more important than a closet full of clothes or the latest baby gadget.
- Cut out the non essentials
I have a terrible starbucks habit. This can get quite expensive so when I’m trying to save money this is one of the first things to go. Can you cut out the coffee on the way to work and instead make it at home? Or pack a lunch instead of going out with coworkers. I had a client tell me her and her husband stopped eating out and saved up for my doula fee in 3 months time.
- Sell things you don’t use
Remember all the baby items you got for your first child and never really used? Or do you have a surplus of clothing and household goods that you need to unload? Have a garage sale or post on local marketplace sites to sell the things you no longer need. Bonus- this will clear up some space in the house for a new baby and decluttering is a great nesting activity.
- Use your tax refund
Instead of splurging on things you may not need or taking another vacation, use your tax return to pay for your doula. Investing in great birth support is so important since this event only happens once per baby.
- HSA or Flex spending Accounts
Check with your insurance. Some offer reimbursement for doulas, sometimes you can use your HSA to pay for a doula. It’s worth it to check it out
- Ask about a payment plan
Some doulas offer reduced rates to low income families or payment plans if there is a need.
- Barter goods or services with your doula
Do you do vinyl crafting? Or web design? Photography maybe? Does your significant other do landscaping or carpentry? See if your doula would trade services with you. It never hurts to ask.
- Birthday present? Holiday gift? Crowdfunding?
Can you ask family for money towards your doula for your birthday instead of another set of kitchen towels or a Target gift card? Maybe set up a gofundme for doula support.
- Pick up a side hustle
My husband drives Uber for extra cash. It is a great way for him to make some decent money when he has free time. He gets to choose his hours and how long he works. There are a ton of ways to earn some extra cash for you and your partner. Uber, Lyft, Ubereats, Grubhub, Instacart and Amazon are a few ways to drive and earn money. But there are also things you can do from the comfort of your own home like teaching english,
Have some ideas of your own? I would love to hear what you did to pay your doula’s fee.