You’ve heard so many good things about doulas. Maybe all your friends have used one, your doctor or midwife suggested getting one, or all the moms in your mom group have raved about the benefits.
Unfortunately, no one bothers to mention how much doulas cost. While doula services are full of benefits, the cost of a doula can be a full stop for some people. With questions like:
How much does a doula cost?
Why are so many doula’s prices so different?
Does insurance cover the cost of a doula?
How do I know it’ll be worth it?
You feel overwhelmed! And it’s no wonder — the cost of doulas ranges drastically. Their prices are based on where they’re located, their experience, and what services they offer to you. Let’s break down the average cost of a doula and why they cost what they do.
How much does a birth doula cost?
The cost of birth doulas can range from a few hundred dollars up to a couple of thousand. This wide range makes the decision to choose a doula even harder for you.
Here are some of the reasons the cost of a doula can vary so much.
First, the location of a birth doula impacts its price. A doula located where the cost of living is higher — such as in big cities — is likely to cost closer to $1,500-$2,500. However, in a smaller city or more rural area, you may find doulas for as little as $500.
Second, experience affects the average cost of a doula. If a doula has just received their certification and is working on building their experience, they may be willing to work for free in exchange for experience. Or they may charge a low fee, such as $200-$500. This might be a good option for you if you want the support of a doula but can’t afford the typical price of one.
On the other hand, experienced doulas that have been working for years may cost between $1,000 — $2,500. They have more knowledge of handling situations. They know when to call the midwife or suggest you go to the hospital, and they can offer more alternative pain-relieving techniques. Overall, they have more confidence in what they do. If cost isn’t a factor, a confident and experienced birth doula is worth every penny.
Third, the cost of a doula varies based on the services they offer.
How many prenatal and postpartum visits do they offer?
Do they provide a backup doula?
What postpartum services do they include in their package?
What about placenta encapsulation, lactation support, or other additional services?
These are all things that impact the cost of a doula. When looking for a birth doula in your area, be sure to compare the benefits included in each doula’s package. Determine what is important to you and what is unnecessary.
So how much does a birth doula cost? Well, you can see that this question is difficult to answer! However, we’ve outlined several factors that can help you narrow down what you expect to spend. And, very simply, the average cost of an experienced birth doula is between $800 — $2,000.
How much does a postpartum doula cost?
First, what is a postpartum doula? A birth doula is there to support you throughout your pregnancy and during your labor and delivery, and a postpartum doula is there to support you during your postpartum period. They provide emotional, mental, and physical support as you process your birth and heal from delivery.
Postpartum doulas offer a host of services to new mothers. Their support includes — but is not limited to — meal preparation, baby-related household tasks, breastfeeding support, baby soothing techniques, and emotional support as you process your birth. A postpartum doula is an invaluable resource.
Postpartum doulas help care for other siblings as they adjust to a new baby. They offer the opportunity for you to rest and catch up on much-needed sleep and provide additional resources for recovery and assistance during postpartum. They may run errands and assist you in baby care, such as diaper changes and baths.
Evidence shows how beneficial having the proper support during postpartum is for new moms, especially for mental health. If you’re lacking a good support system, you may consider a postpartum doula.
So how much does a postpartum doula cost? Similar to a birth doula, postpartum doulas’ costs vary based on their location. In smaller cities or where the cost of living is lower, you can expect to pay $25-$45 an hour. In large cities where the cost of living is higher, $35-$65 is the average hourly rate.
You can choose to use a postpartum doula for a few hours, or for a few weeks. Since they charge by the hour, the choice is up to you. Some doulas offer discounts if you reserve a certain amount of hours with them or if they are looking for more experience.
Typically, families utilize postpartum doula services in the first few days or weeks after having a baby. Some families may use a postpartum doula once or twice a week, and others may use one 5 days a week. It all comes down to your individual needs and what you can afford.
Are doulas covered by insurance?
The cost of a doula can be off-putting to a family who desires the benefits but simply can’t afford one.
Doulas undergo quite a bit of training and certification. They are also offering to be flexible and be on call for you at any point, which means dropping anything going on in their life. Their job is a mentally and physically taxing one, so the cost of a doula is understandable.
However, that still doesn’t change the fact that doula services may be hard to afford. Unfortunately, most insurance does not cover doula care at this time. There are efforts being made to change this as people are understanding the benefits of doula care.
Several states offer doula coverage through Medicaid, and some insurance will pay a portion of your doula costs. You can read about how to get insurance for your doula here.
At the very least, you can usually pay for the cost of a doula through an HSA or FSA account.
We offer professional doula services at Motherhood Center.
In conclusion, the benefits and support far outweigh the cost of a doula. If you’re looking for the perfect doula around the Houston area, consider Motherhood Center’s doula services. We offer a variety of options, including postpartum doulas, night nannies, and newborn specialists.
It would be our joy to serve you as you go through this special and important time in your life. Please reach out to see how we can help you!