How To Afford a Doula

Whether a doula is on your list of must-haves or not, I implore you to invest in your birth experience to the best of your ability. I know it’s a privilege to be able to afford all the things that would bring you joy and make your life easier. But what I’m really trying to emphasize is… your birth is not a time to cut corners, if at all avoidable.

How you apportion your finances is completely your business. But I say this from one mama to the next, not because I’m making a sales pitch (if I’m not your perfect match, no problem — my heart wishes for you to fall into place with the best doula for YOU)…

I say this because I’ve BEEN THERE. I was once that pregnant person cutting corners because I thought “I can do without XYZ” or “this or that thing sounds really lovely but I can’t rationalize spending that much on something for ‘me’” or “but I’m pretty sure the gidgets and gadgets marketed in baby-related ads are all must-haves, they will surely get parenthood off to the best start as promised, and then what’s leftover for birth support?”

A quality carseat is super important, totally agree. But a fancy high chair that your baby won’t use for 6+ months, if ever? A collection of brand name baby shoes? These things add up financially, and won’t bring as much “quality assurance” to your life, your newborn’s transition to the world, or your mental and emotional health as you’d think. I just want you to envision for a moment: what will you really need to have the amazing birth you desire? What will bring you safely you across the bumpy road of postpartum?

If sweet little baby accessories bring you joy and this is super important to you, splurge on, mama. Really.

But let’s say you’re limited to the CHOICE between non-necessities (that may offer little more than plumping up your shower registry) or hiring professional birth support (that you believe in your gut will bring value to your life as a presently emerging parent).

What to do? Make the most of your available resources and ask for what you need to cover what you can’t. As a new parent, this will not be the last time you ask for help — might as well start getting comfortable with it now!

Think about this: how did you pay for your car? Did you prioritize the expense because you believed in reliable transportation as a means to added value in your life?

Your birth will transform you in ways you can’t yet even imagine. It will be this changed person who, like your car, is moving through each day going forward. Seeing value in the maintenance costs (reliable birth support like a doula) of the vehicle (you!) is putting stock in how you will move through your birth and beyond. Seeing value in yourself is thereby putting stock in your birth.

If you’re married, did you have a wedding? How did you pay for the associated costs — flowers, food, music, planner, venue, photographer…? Did you feel they were worth the cost, because it is such a special milestone event? Even if you didn’t host a fancy party, a marriage license alone still costs money.

Birth is a celebration of commitment, like the moment of marriage — a vow to embark on a new relationship (with your baby, and with yourself as a parent) and to stick with it in good times and bad.

Your birth experience will stay with you, in one way or another. (It doesn’t have to be scary — your birth experience isn’t stalking you!). But it can be a powerful reminder of your strength, one to call upon in times of inevitable defeat or struggle.

You will never forget your birth experience.

Again for those in the back: You will never forget your birth experience.

 

How will YOU prioritize, invest in, and commit to making the most of your birth? ❤

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If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few ideas to ensure you still get a doula you love:

✅ Add doula services to your baby registry

✅ Ask your doula about a payment plan

✅ Doulas often have flexible payment options

✅ Many can customize a package to fit your budget

✅ Ask about bartering goods/services

✅ Ask family/friends to donate funds for pre-birth gift-giving occasions

✅ Use a flex savings or health savings account

✅ Save receipts and send to insurance; sometimes reimbursements are possible

✅ Check out a financial assistance program like Dollars For Doulas.

✅ Student doulas are another option. They often start their fees lower than well-seasoned doulas.

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