Research shows that hiring a doula can improve birth outcomes. People who use a birth doula are more likely to view their birth as a positive experience (AMAZING!), are less likely to use pitocin and pain medication, and are less likely to have a cesarean birth. I am all for positive birth experiences, trauma free birth, and improved birth outcomes for parents and babies. Doulas are amazing tools to incorporate into your birth and postpartum experience.
That said, the time around having a baby fills up with new expense needs- pregnancy/birth care, car seats, outfitting a nursery, life insurance, college funds, etc. It also doesn’t help that much of our society prioritizes cute baby goods over physical and emotional support for the family. Paying $1000+ for a doula can seem overwhelming, so I'm here to share a few tips to make it easier to hire the perfect doula for you!
1- Add doula services to your baby registry. This is the easiest way to gain some funds for doula support. I’d also recommend adding lactation support, maternity/birth/newborn photography, chiropractic care, massage, dog walking services, etc to your registry. Services that support parent emotional and physical support have so much value, and will be remembered much longer than the super cute outfit the baby outgrew in one month.
2- Designate large ‘bonus’ chunks of money (like a tax return, stimulus check, holiday bonus, or gift) for doula services. Many doulas accept payments as services are rendered too, which can make it easier to chip away at the total cost of a doula.
3- Use funds in your HSA/FSA. Doula services are reimbursable with HSAs and FSAs. Most doulas can provide itemized receipts to submit to your HSA/FSA for reimbursement.
Prioritize investing in yourself and your family. Try not to get overwhelmed by looking at the cost of a doula. Get to know a few doulas, and analyze your situation to see what you can rearrange in your budget, where extra funds might already exist, and how you lean on your social network to find money for a doula. You can do it! As always, I'm sending lots of positive birth vibes your way.