Locally Doula services range anywhere from $500-$900 depending on who you go with. Many people experience sticker shock upon seeing the cost. Today we are going to talk a little about why we charge what we do and how you can break it down to cushion the cost.
We'll base this off a basic "package" so to speak.
So we have an initial interview, this is where you meet your Doula, there is no guarantee you will hire her at this point so she is taking a risk and giving up 1-2 hours of her time for this interview.
So after the initial interview you decide you love her and want to hire her great! Then she will do 1 or 2 more meetings with you which are again 1-2 hours each.
Then there is her 24 hour a day on call period that starts around 37 or 38 weeks, which means she is on call for you whenever you go into labour. She doesn't travel far from home, she rearranges her schedule to be flexible so she can drop everything at a moments notice.
So you go into labour and your doula arrives. On average she could spend 12-18 hours with you during your birth process.
After the birth she may visit you once or twice more for 1-2 hours per visit.
Then factor in time for phone calls/text messages/emails etc say 5 hours in total throughout pregnancy.
The average hours she devotes to you are at least 33 hours
Then factor in that in travel time and mileage
She may also need to factor in child care, which is not only for meetings but arranging 24 hour on call care for her children while she is on call for your birth.
And then she has basic business costs that come out of her fees as well for supplies, website hosting etc.
These start adding up quickly, and then she should also be paying herself a living wage from each client she accepts.
So what can you do to cushion the cost of a Doula?
Ask about payment plans! Most Doulas don't expect their full fee up front at the time of the contract signing. They usually have payment plan options so you can spread out the cost a little bit.
Check into your health benefits coverage. In Alberta some health spending accounts will cover the cost of a Doula.
Ask if your Doula has gift certificates available. Share this info with family and friends looking for the ideal baby gift for you.
Once you get past the sticker shock, a Doula is very much worth the Moulah! She is going to be 100% devoted to supporting your birth and your choices. She'll be there when you need her for however long you need her, no strings attached.