Natural Birth

Cost of a doula

Hi there! This is my first post on the natural parenting board! Vegan FTM here, planning a birth center delivery with a midwife and we're looking to hire a doula. 

 

So, the doula I would like to hire bills on a sliding scale, meaning I name the price. She has over 15years experience, and will provide the following: 2pre/natal visits on birthing topics, phon/email support, will come over when I go into labor, at the birth the whole time, 1 pp visit.  Other midwives are between $500-800. I was thinking $650, but I want to pay a fair price. 

 

 How much was your doula? What did you get? And where are you located?  

Re: Cost of a doula

  • $800, Austin. Ours takes a sliding scale but we chose to pay her full price. I work in the birth industry (I'm a birth photographer) and I know the hours are long and demanding. If you work in this industry you do it because you love it, not to get rich. Doulas earn every penny!
  • CelynCelyn
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    It's spending here (San Francisco area), but you can find anything from free to $1800 ($1800 usually gets you a monitrice).
  • We paid $900 for a doula with 3 years of experience (oh, + $50 for photographs). I live outside of DC. A doula with 5+ years runs $1200-$1800+. The rates seem to max out after that point. The level of care seems similar to what you are looking at.

  • We're paying $650 for our doula in San Antonio.   She has 2 years experience and does two prenatal visits, the hospital labor and delivery and 2 post partum visits.   She is also an IBCLC and certified Bradley instructor.   For our first, we used a different doula who was finishing up her certification and she charged $400, 2 years ago with a similar amount of visits.

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  • I'm guessing that doula's are not covered under insurance?
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  • We paid $800 for our doula with 25+ years experience.  She came for two prenatal visits, was available for my birth (pretty much on call, although we didn't ask for her until the hospital, and I was already 8 cm and about 4 hours from birth), and one postpartum visit.  She also typed up a birth story for us.  She was worth every penny.

    She has offered to only charge me $650 for baby #2 b/c we'll be paying a fortune out of pocket for a home birth and still want her there so she knows we'll be stretched thin.

    We also gave her a massage gift certificate as a thank you gift, which we'll do again.  I'm feeling so glad we did seeing the prices on here, as she was so worth what we paid.

    I'm in the Sacramento, CA area. 

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  • That is what my doula is providing, but she only has a couple of years of experience (I am not sure how many births).  When we agreed to interview her, she was charging $500, though recently started charging new clients $600 (but is giving us the $500 because that is what she quoted).

    If I have a great birth experience because of her, I plan to 'tip' her the extra $100, but I'm not going to offer it up front.

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  • I'm in Winston-Salem NC, our doula has 5+ years of experience and is also a lactation consultant (very handy!), we meet with her once or twice before the birth then she stays for a few hours after the birth too. Her standard rate is $450, but she gives discounts to single mothers, teen moms and low-income families. I've spent more on a purse so I think it's a bargain!

    I've never heard of anyone's insurance covering the cost of a doula, but save your receipt, you might be able to consider it a medical expense for tax purposes, you'd have to check with an accountant to be sure.

    Someone mentioned tipping, is it standard practice to tip a doula? 

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  • image BootsOrHearts:

    I'm in Winston-Salem NC, our doula has 5+ years of experience and is also a lactation consultant (very handy!), we meet with her once or twice before the birth then she stays for a few hours after the birth too. Her standard rate is $450, but she gives discounts to single mothers, teen moms and low-income families. I've spent more on a purse so I think it's a bargain!

    I've never heard of anyone's insurance covering the cost of a doula, but save your receipt, you might be able to consider it a medical expense for tax purposes, you'd have to check with an accountant to be sure.

    Someone mentioned tipping, is it standard practice to tip a doula? 

    We gave her a massage gift card (about $100).  She was grateful and didn't seem surprised, though I'm not sure if it's the norm.  Just felt like something we should do.
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  • CelynCelyn
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    member

    Doula's do have an insurance code, and there is a (however slim) chance of being reimbursed.  They've only had the code for a couple of years, so insurance is still getting used to the idea.  However, there are many insurance companies with a precedence for paying all or part of doula care.  

    There's more info here: http://harmonydoula.com/insurance.html

  • I didnt pay for mine because she was still technically in training, and only needed one more birthing experience so i got her for free and she was amazing! it helped my delivery soo much! I'm in Canada



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  • $750

    Dallas, TX

    Intro interview, 1 planning appointment, labor/delivery, 1 follow up visit

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  • Ours is $400, and I'm in Illinois. She is in training though, so she's cheaper. Other doulas I quoted were about $600-$700 depending on their experience. The doula we hired will come to a prenatal appt (or more if we want) with us and will meet with us as many times as we would like. She also said she likes to come by at least once after the baby comes. She's also willing to come to my house while I'm in labor, so that I can stay home as long as possible before heading to the hospital. I hope that helps :)
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  • you are going to get a wide range of responses here, b/c not everyone lives in your COLA. 

    sliding scales allow women who are not able to pay a certain amount to still have access to quality care. bc shouldn't every mom have that option!? :)

    that said, you should pay what you are able to pay. if you can pay her maximum, then you should. that would allow her to continue offering sliding scales for women who legitimately can't.

    i will also do a sliding scale fee for my birth work (i teach HypnoBirthing and am a hypnotherapist specializing in the needs of women during their childbearing years). i don't advertise it, but if i sense any hesitation due to cost, there will definitely be a conversation about fees and workarounds (i've done service exchanges, payment plans and just flat out reduced my prices for certain mothers).  

    [color=purple]Wife ? 9/18/04
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  • image LindseyJW:

    you are going to get a wide range of responses here, b/c not everyone lives in your COLA. 

    sliding scales allow women who are not able to pay a certain amount to still have access to quality care. bc shouldn't every mom have that option!? :)

    that said, you should pay what you are able to pay. if you can pay her maximum, then you should. that would allow her to continue offering sliding scales for women who legitimately can't.

    i will also do a sliding scale fee for my birth work (i teach HypnoBirthing and am a hypnotherapist specializing in the needs of women during their childbearing years). i don't advertise it, but if i sense any hesitation due to cost, there will definitely be a conversation about fees and workarounds (i've done service exchanges, payment plans and just flat out reduced my prices for certain mothers).  

     I think that this poster said the most helpful, and honest thing in this entire thread.  It is so important to respect and honor the work that others put in to help us have the birthing experience that we want.  I used a doula for my second delivery (first natural birth) and the experience (she had attended 500+ births and is now a home birth midwife) and calm that she brought to my labor and delivery was priceless.  I would have done a disservice to both her and myself if I had not paid her appropriately. 

    Sorry if this sounds preachy, I just have seen people prioritizing their birth team (i.e. not paying them or not paying them appropriately) lower than their material things lately and it really, really upsets me.  I'm sure that is not at all what you are doing, but I wanted to take this opportunity to get the frustration off of my chest. :)

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  • I live in the middle of nowhere. My doula also works on a sliding scale but we're also paying full price. $600 for the birth and $200 for pictures. Her pictures ROCK and she gives so very many and spends so much time editing that it's worth it. 
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  • In NJ/NYC area the doulas Im looking at are $1300 - $1600 for 15-30 years exp, 2 pre-natals, 2 post, and constant time during delivery. Also lactation specialists, trained in massage, accupressure, etc..
    Expecting our first child and looking forward to the greatest adventure yet!
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