It’s always a joy when a passion and a career come together.
I firmly believe in fairly compensating people who put their treasured time, energy, money, and sacrifice into their life’s work. While the thought of a free doula might sound tempting, consider this: if your doula is not paid fairly for her work, she’s actually paying out of her own pocket to help you through your pregnancy, be on-call, and attend your birth. A newer doula may charge a bit less than more experienced doulas in her area, but it’s always my recommendation that all doulas (yes, even freshly-trained doulas) charge a living wage. So before you go hunting for a free doula, check out these tips for saving or earning money to pay for the quality, professional doula services you want.
- Payment plans | I don’t know a single doula who doesn’t offer payment plans for their services. If you have sticker shock at the sight of your doula’s fee, you can work together to figure out a payment plan that works for you and your budget. For instance, if your doula’s fee is $1000 and you’re considering hiring her at 12 weeks, you have about 25 weeks or so to pay it off (doulas typically require payment before your due date at around 37 weeks). This comes to $40/week, $80/paycheck if you’re paid biweekly. Breaking it down into payments makes it seem much more doable!
- Giving up small luxuries to pay for a big luxury | Is Starbucks your thing? Maybe you enjoy regular date nights with your partner or little shopping splurges here and there. Are there any luxury costs you can cut to save that $40/week? Think creatively: consider cooking more meals together at home, cutting out your Starbucks and sticking with home-brewed, or utilizing Redbox or Netflix instead of going to the movies or paying for cable or satellite.
- One woman’s trash… | Take this time before your baby arrives to purge! You can host a yard sale or list your items for sale on Craigslist or our local buy/sell/trade groups, like El Dorado Exchange – Baby & Toddler, El Dorado Community Exchanges, or VarageSale. Not only can this increase your income to help pay for a doula, but it’ll make room for the influx of baby gear you’ll have infiltrating your home in the (very) near future!
- Put it on your registry | Sites like BabyList are all-inclusive registry sites where you can combine gifts from all over the internet. including doula services. Many doulas also offer gift certificates toward their services, a wonderful option for those who don’t want to ask outright for cash donations for a doula.
- Consider a consultation instead of birth services | Many doulas offer pregnancy-only packages or birth consultations instead of their full-service birth doula packages. This means that instead of paying their full rate for prenatal visits, on-call availability, attending your birth, and a postpartum visit, you can cut costs and hire them solely for prenatal visits (often cutting your cost by at least half!) or by the hour for a consultation. This is a great option if you’ve given birth before and just need a bit of a refresher, if you need some support writing a birth plan, etc. Just ask!
Did these tips spark some creative ideas on raising money for a doula? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to contact Placerville Doula if you’re interested in doula services (including purchasing a gift certificate or pregnancy-only services!).