How Much Does a Doula Cost?
According to birthnaturally.org, a doula is defined as “a non-medical professional labor companion that provides informational, emotional, and physical labor support in addition to your nurse, doctor or midwife.” A doula is a companion that will offer support and encouragement throughout the birthing process, but will not provide any sort of medical advice or treatment.
How much does a doula cost?
- The cost of a doula varies greatly from state to state. It can cost as little as $250 or as high as $1,500. This costs depends mostly on the area in which you live. A larger metropolitan area with a higher cost of living will generally be in the thousands, while a small urban community will typically be in the hundreds.
- According to Doula.com, the average doula cost can be anywhere from $300 to $1,000. The average price will hover around $500 for an experienced doula. The geographical location ill play a big role in the price.
What is going to be included?
- Most doulas include at least one prenatal visit, will be at the hospital during the birth of the child, and will make at least one post-partum visit. Some doulas include two prenatal and post partum visits, but these usually cost more.
- Doulas usually make themselves available via telephone any time you need to talk.
What are the extra costs?
- Some women choose to have a doula help them with an at-home birth. In this case, the cost will increase to anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500.
- Some doulas offer services such as massage and aroma therapy for an extra charge. Other doulas include this in their initial fees, while others do not provide this service at all.
Questions to ask:
- What have you done in the past in terms of training? Do you have the proper certifications? If so, where are your certifications from?
- What are your fees like? Can I get a schedule set of fees so that I know what I’m going to be charged?
- Are you going to be able to come to my home? Do I need to go to you? What is it going to be like when I’m in labor?
- Have you ever worked in a hospital? Have you ever worked with doctors?
- Do you have any experience with complications such as twins, or high risk births? If this has happened in the past, what did you do to resolve the situation?
- What do I need to do in order to make this situation as smooth as possible?
- How easy are you to contact? Are you available 24/7? If possible, will I be able to contact you when I have questions?
Tips to know:
- Make sure that the doula is certified through programs such as the DONA, CAPPA, ALACE or the ICEA.
- Most medical insurance plans won’t cover a doula, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call. If you can’t pay out of pocket, consider looking into payment plans or even a flexible savings account that assists with medical issues.
- Ensure that the doula has some sort of tie with a local hospital. That way, if something does go wrong or you change your mind, the hospital will be there to assist you.
- Make sure that a doula has a back-up just in case two of the same clients go into labor at the same time. While this may be rare, it can happen!
How can I save money?
- Start bartering with your doula. Talk with at least three different ones in your area to see who can offer the best price for your money.
- Set up a payment plan with your doula. By doing this, you’re going to find that you’re going to be able to make smaller payments, not requiring a full payment up front.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, especially if you have worked with a doula in the past. You’ll find that repeat customers are more than likely to receive a discount. The worst thing that they can say is, “no!”
- While many insurance companies may not cover this process, it doesn’t hurt to call up. Call up your insurance company to see if anything like this is covered.
How can I compare prices?
- The best way to compare prices is to use services such as FindaDoula.com or Doulas of North America to help you find a directory of doulas in your area. Making phone calls and asking questions, such as what services are included, is the best way to compare prices. Be sure to ask about each doula’s experience as well!
- Some doulas can also be found by word of mouth. Ask other moms that you know to recommend a doula if they know of any.