This is something we hear nearly every day in the doula world, whether it’s from clients, or providers, and other doulas repeating things THEY’VE heard out on the world wide web.
I’m about to get really real with you here, because my job is to SUPPORT your decisions, no matter what. It’s my job to help you find your power, to help you advocate for yourself and have the birth experience YOU want.
Here’s the thing though, if you can’t justify the cost, it means you don’t see the value in the service and it’s not a priority to you. That’s ok! Doulas aren’t for everyone. Most of our clients are not first time parents. We get that. I get it. I didn’t even know a doula was a thing with my first birth, but I had one for my second birth and TWO for my third birth. My experience changed, my perception of need changed, and I needed a doula.
What if you really DO want a doula and just need a little SUPPORT and encouragement to find your power, to advocate for yourself, to find a way? This blog is for you.
- START EARLY! In our area, in 2015, you’ll need to put down anywhere from $170 to $300 and pay from $75- $133/mo if you find a birth doula early on. Sounds doable right? If not, ask yourself which is more important to you, a caffeine jolt, and a combo meal a couple times a week, or professional, nonjudgmental, support for your pregnancy, and birth 24/7? For this same amount of money, you can get 24-40 hours of customized, in home support from a postpartum doula.
- ASK FOR HELP! The number of things you actually need for a brand new baby can be counted on two hands. Instead of getting dozens of new onesies and receiving blankets they’ll grow out of in the blink of an eye, ask friends and family to invest in your physical, emotional and educational well being. Set up a registry for your doula support. If you’re planning to breastfeed, but not sure you can do it, think about this: It costs $1,733.75 average, to feed a baby formula for one full year. That’s almost 50 hours of personalized, IN HOME breastfeeding support and care for you and your newborn; an excellent start to ensuring full term breastfeeding, even beyond a year.
- USE INSURANCE! There is some mis-information out there about just how to do this and it can be confusing. First, it is not your doula’s job to make this happen. We will happily provide you with our SSN, and our NPI numbers, and itemized invoice and/or cover letter to provide to your insurance company, but we are not medical providers, and we do not have, or use medical billing services. This is where you find your power, because dealing with insurance can be a LOT like negotiating with a two year old. Think of it as training for parenthood.
- Operation Special Delivery! If you are military, you may be able to get doula services based on income, using a sliding scale. This does not get you a FREE doula, but it can help you by giving you a reduced rate. The great thing about this option is that it is being revamped in April 2016, and will now also be a sustainable option for doulas as well; helping them do the work of their hearts while still paying the bills and keeping food on the table.
- MAKE IT A PRIORITY. Just like anything you want in life, sometimes sacrifice is needed to get what you want. If having a doula is important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen. One of the most important things to learn as a new parent is when to pick your battles. These are your very first parenting decisions. Only YOU can decide if this is something you want to put energy into. When it is, you will know it, and you will make it happen.