Need a Doula but don't have the Finances?
Want a doula for your birth but don’t have an extra $600-$1,500 laying around? What if I told you that you can get free doula services or even a doula for low cost!?
I believe that every woman deserves the birth support of their dreams; money and finances shouldn't get in the way of having the support you deserve or want throughout your pregnancy at your birth or postpartum. I'd like to share a couple ways how you might be able to have the doula support you deserve at a lower cost or even free!
Let's get creative and think!
Ways to afford your doula
Doulas working on Certification
Some doula certifying agencies require that doulas who want to become certified have an "X" amount of births and to complete certain criteria to become certified. During the time of working towards certification some doulas will take clients and offer a discounted price while others may even offer free birth doula support. This is a great option for free doula support or cheap doula services or support.
Giving the gift of a Doula
This is a great option if physical items on a baby registry aren't as important to you. There are a couple ways you can make "Giving the gift of a Doula" work. One way is by researching and finding the birth doula you like and figuring out how much they cost. You can also find out if they would provide gift certificates for their services. This can be included in a baby shower gift! Another option if the doula you like doesn't provide certificates is ask for money toward a doula as a baby shower gift! Honestly, a doula is way more important than a bunch of baby blankets anyways.
Do you have a skill or business that could be part of a barter/trade to cover partial of the doula support?
Do you have a skill that your doula might benefit from? Do you or your spouse provide a needed service that could partially offset some of your doula fee? Some examples of this may include but are not limited too: lawn service, reliable childcare if your doula has children, if your a photographer a family photo session or headshots for your doulas businesses page may be possible options, if you are into website building you could help with developing a website or help your doula with SEO content.
Not all doulas are open to bartering and trading, but many are! It never hurts to ask!
If you can provide something of value to your doula, then you're on the right track to reducing your fee and affording your doula.
Working out a payment plan
Most doulas will be happy to help you set up a payment plan to be paid by the end of the third trimester. This option may be easier if you find your birth doula early on in your pregnancy as you would have more time to plan ahead with you finances.
Budgeting Better and Planning Ahead
This might feel like a daunting task if you already budget and are financially tight and don't have much wiggle room in your monthly budget. But, I highly encourage you to review over your budget and possibly make some adjustments. How important is having a birth doula for you? If, having a birth doula is important to you, then one great way to save money is to cut back on regular take-out or even delete that subscription that has been forgotten. One way that has stood the test of time is to have a yard sell that also clears out space for the new arrival.
If you've budgeted as tightly as possible and still can't find room, I highly suggest talking to your doula candidly. Most are willing to find a way to make things work. We want to support you. We want to serve you.
Another possible option...
Some (very few) insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost depending on your plan and who your insurance company is. Call your insurance company's benefits department to get details. It never hurts to contact them and ask! You may have to pay the doula first, get a detailed receipt and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
Important Note on Price
Doulas offer valuable support that can make your labor and delivery a more positive experience. Doula services are worth every penny and this work possibly is their everyday job and how they make a living. I’m all for finding a deal, but please only look into alternative payment options/free services if you truly cannot afford to pay full price. I believe every women who needs support should be able to get it and paying the full cost of a doula for some families is just not possible. That said, if you prioritize a doula and budget responsibly, affording a doula at full price can be easier than you think. Please reach out as a doula I would love to help and support you!
(If your doula of choice isn't willing to work things out with price, they might not be the right doula for you and your family. And, thats okay because, there are other doulas out there that would love to support you!)