Cashed Out: The Truth About Paying For A Doula

I'm back again, writing in honor of World Doula Week. Today I'm here to answer your questions about doulas and moola. If you're undecided on hiring a doula or if you don't want to pay the big bucks just yet, this post is for you. To read more on all things doula you can come back every day this week and if you're a birth pro wanting to join Not Just Nine's blogging challenge yourself, please do! But for now- let's talk about money baby.


Does Everyone Need A Doula?

Absolutely not! I don't in any way think that every mother should, or wants to, hire a doula. There are reasons that you might not want a doula- if you've chosen unassisted childbirth, if you have a friend acting as a doula, if your birth team already meets hospital policy for guests, or if you can't find a doula who you mesh with. I am not offended that not everyone wants a doula. It is okay; not everyone chooses to hire a realtor when buying a house either. Doulas are here to help guide you through the process of birth and to make it as easy for you as possible (by providing you with emotional, physical, and informational support). But you CAN do it on your own if you chose to. Just as you can buy a home on your own- if you want to fill out all the paperwork, hire inspectors, and whatever else you pay a realtor to do. ;)

Does everyone deserves a doula?

This is a controversial topic worth writing much more about than I will today. It is a hard question to answer. I am passionate about women's health and equality so part of me wants to say "YES! DOULAS FOR EVERYONE!" Except that being a doula is very hard work. If I were to give services away for free to any woman who asked I would be sacrificing a lot and giving away pieces of myself that I need for my family. Would you spend up to 24 hours (or more) away from your family without getting paid? It is hard work.

I do believe that every woman should have access to a doula. I don't think new or experienced doulas should have to work for free but I do think that every family who wants a doula should have access to one. Unfortunately life is unfair and just as I can't buy every child a crib- I can't provide them with a doula. This brings me to my next point..

Is A Doula Is Worth Saving For?

Doulas charge all different amounts depending on experience and location but you can expect to pay between $500-$1,000 for their service. I know, $1,000! It sounds like a lot- a month of rent or mortgage, several months worth of groceries, a designer handbag, I could go on and on... But my job isn't to tell you why you shouldn't buy those things. I'm here to explain why a doula is worth the cash. And I can tell you this: each child is only born once. We cannot "take back" our births or have a re-do. Penny Simkin, a world-renowned doula, conducted a study on the memories of our birth experiences. What she found was that women recalled their births almost exactly the same when their children were in their late teen years as they did when the children were newborns. We never forget our births- what happened, how we felt, and what we thought. You will forget the sacrifices you make to afford a doula, maybe no espressos for a month or no eating out. But you will never forget what that sacrifice got you: a doula who loved and cared for you during the most physically challenging day of your life.

Why Do Doulas Cost So Much?

Your doula plans all vacations 9 months in advance. She is obligated to stay close to home at all times. She misses birthday parties, graduations, and Christmas mornings. Your doula leaves her home not knowing when she'll return. She never lets her gas get on E and has her cell phone with her every second of every day. Your doula passes on glasses of wine at dinner and always goes to bed early in case you call. Your doula spends 12+ hours on her feet and never asks you for anything. She misses meals and sleeps in chairs. She spends hours getting to know you before your birth. She learns all your birth goals and never judges you if your plan changes mid-labor. Your doula misses her children and spouse. She has business expenses such as insurance and she has extensive training and education. Your doula LOVES HER JOB, but she should still works hard for her paycheck.