Is it really an expense worth paying for? And what exactly comes with the service to make it cost so much?
Anyone who’s ever expected a baby knows there are a lot of costs surrounding childbirth.
So, the question is, why pay hundreds of dollars for something a friend or grandmother can do?
There’s been a lot of talk amongst doula professionals recently about the rates doulas (should) charge. Some doulas consider their time valuable and want to get compensated enough to pay for their cost of living.
Probably the maximum amount of clients a doula can take on each month is four. And that’s really pushing it!
Other doulas see their role as a means to serve women, knowing that a lot of moms can’t afford a high doula rate. These doulas will sometimes do low-cost or free births as a service to their community.
Ultimately, it’s up to each doula to decide her fee based on how she sees her role in the birth world.
What Does the Doula Rate Cover?
Each doula has a different business model, but most of us have a least three meetings with our clients before labor and delivery. That includes the initial meet-and-greet and then two prenatals.
During prenatal visits, the doula comes to your house, so the fee covers gas, our time, and sometimes childcare.
In addition, each doula has at least one postpartum visit to check on her clients at their home. All of these visits are considered half of her job, which is why many doulas keep a retaining fee even if they are unable to attend the actual birth.
Once you hire a doula, she is committed to be with you throughout the entire labor and delivery. Some births only last a few hours, but others last a few days. It is definitely not a job for the weak at heart.
While doulas love supporting and helping women during one of life’s most special moments, it can be very difficult for the doula’s family when she is away for an unknown length of time.
A doula sacrifices vacation getaways, social functions, and time with her family to support expecting mothers. But it is work that she loves and is committed to.
More Important is Her Value
When you hire a doula, you’re paying for more than just the time she spends with you. You’re paying for her knowledge, her training, and her experience with birth.
So why not just use your mom or best friend and save a few hundred dollars? Those people in your life no doubt have an impact during labor and delivery. They can show immense support and they love you very deeply.
But the doula’s role cannot be replaced so easily. She is the midway point between a best friend and a nurse.
She has the knowledge of labor and understanding of hospital protocol, but she also builds a relationship with you before the birth so she can support you better.
Unlike the hospital staff, she focuses more on your emotional state and worries less about clinical matters. She makes sure you’re comfortable both physically and emotionally.
She does everything within her standards of practice to make your labor a positive experience.
She is also your advocate, supporting you and your decisions each step of the way. And unlike the father, grandmother, or best friend, she is not in the same way emotionally attached, and can therefore think more clearly if problems arise.
Her value is immeasurable. Her impact, priceless. Thousands of women will forevermore look on their labors as an empowering and uplifting memory, all because of the help of doulas.
Investing in a Valuable Service
I once heard a doula say that when women get married they have no problem spending thousands of dollars for services during their wedding, whether for a photographer, videographer, caterer, baker, etc.
The same is not true when women are expecting a child. For some reason many women want to skimp on this very important, life-changing moment.
Your birth is important. Your doula believes this, which is why she is so grateful for the opportunity to be a helpful participant.
If you’re considering the pros and cons of hiring a doula, trust that the money you pay her is well worth it.
You are not getting cheated. Every penny is going towards a valuable service that will reap great rewards.