It’s no secret what a difference doula care can make to the experience and safety of birth. When I first entered the birth world ten years ago, I didn’t know a single soul who’d ever heard of a doula. These days, most expecting couples have at least heard the term and are aware that there are benefits to labor support. Postpartum doulas are gaining popularity too as the public becomes aware of the importance of honoring this season in life.
The struggle that most expecting couples have though, is how to pay for all of this extra support. Insurance usually doesn’t cover these services and let’s be honest, it often just feels like a luxury, or extravagance that most young couples are not ready to splurge on. Without launching into why it is NOT extravagant (because that topic deserves a post of its own), I’ve put together some ideas on how you can come up with the funds to hire a doula:
- Check With Your Insurance – I have known people who’ve had success with this, particularly those using a health savings account. Some health sharing programs (which are slightly different to insurance) actually encourage the use of a doula.
- Ask About A Payment Plan – This varies a lot from doula to doula, but some employ a sliding scale, others might take payments in smaller amounts instead of a large chunk.
- Get Your Friends And Family On Board – Baby showers are so much fun, but at least 75% of the stuff you’ll usually get is not a necessity. You could ask your friends and family to consider contributing to your “doula fund” instead of, or in addition to purchasing gifts.
- Rethink “Necessities” – That changing table that’s going to cost close to $300 and the stroller that’s nearly the same amount as a car payment are not necessities. Neither are the baby Nikes, custom crib bedding, or the stainless steel diaper pail. Having a calm, compassionate and knowledgeable presence in the middle of the biggest undertaking of your life is a much wiser purchase!
- Barter – Many doulas are happy to trade services. Let them know what you have to offer.
- Cut Other Costs – Maybe you could downgrade your phone plan, get rid of cable and switch to Netflix (for $8 a month!), sacrifice eating out every weekend, for once a month etc. If you look closely at your budget, you will almost always find a way to save a little here and there.
- Have a Yard Sale – or use Craigslist to sell bits and pieces that you have laying around collecting dust.
Do you have any creative ideas to share to raise the funds for hiring a doula?