Why Do Doulas Cost So Much?
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
We know that having a Doula can be a serious investment, and some of you may wonder, “why the heck is it so expensive?”. We often see requests for free or discounted Doula support, student Doulas, Doulas in training, and everything in between. We consider hiring a Doula to be an investment in your family, your health and your postpartum experience. Below are some of the things that you pay for when you invest in a Doula.
The nature of this job is one of an on-call lifestyle. We all know babies are unpredictable. Birth is no different. We live by our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to provide the support you need at the drop of a hat. (Trust us … we wish we had a crystal ball or two as well!) As you can imagine, on call life is demanding. It requires us to always have multiple backup plans, sitter options, bags packed at all times, and be willing to put our life on hold the second the phone rings. As a group, we’ve also missed important family events and even holidays like:
We aren’t complaining, we LOVE what we do, but we make sure we are available to you from the moment you hire us through well after your baby is here! Making a living wage allows us to better explain to our families why, sometimes, we have to miss those important days. We don’t make Holiday pay or overtime since we’re self employed … and we know it’s no fault of your own if your baby decides to share his/her birthday with other big dates on the calendar! We make huge sacrifices to make sure we are there to help you have the best experience possible on one of the most important days of your life. You deserve that!
Postpartum Support that comes with Expert Knowledge
Postpartum Doulas offer an amazing opportunity to help you heal while getting adequate rest, nutrition and emotional support. We give 100% of our focus on the needs of each baby and the families that love them so. Even more importantly, we are trained to recognize any postpartum issues you may be facing … whether it's adjusting to the new role of parenthood, breastfeeding difficulties, you or your spouse are faced with a postpartum mood disorder, or you simply have little experience with a newborn baby. We can help get you the support you need quickly and effectively, without judgment. We are even there overnight to help you get a solid night of sleep (or more!) after the birth of a baby. While adjusting back and forth from night shifts to day shifts can make for a hectic personal life, we love being able to support you!
Quality of Care is an Investment
With our team's combined 25 years of Doula experience, you are paying for an enormous amount of experience and training. We are focused on being our best and that means staying up-to-date on research and evidence based developments, attending continuing education opportunities, and building relationships with professionals in our community. We work together to make sure we provide the best care for your family based on your specific needs.
We often hear people ask if there are “student Doulas” that are cheaper or a Doula working towards certification willing to attend a birth for free. There is a specific value that comes with our extensive training and it is important to note that once taking this training, Doulas are qualified and able to fully support a family. Student Doulas simply aren't a thing: someone is either a trained Doula or they aren't. Most of us don’t ask for a “student” in any other profession, so why would we ask for that in one of the most intimate, important moments of our life?
While we absolutely understand that Doulas have to start somewhere, all Doulas deserve a living wage. Once investing the time and money into becoming a Doula, they deserve to be paid a fair and respectable wage for their knowledge. They deserve to be able to support their families while being there to help yours. To put it bluntly, there are few incentives to learn and develop a chosen career when you’re being paid less than $5 an hour to provide weeks of on call and in person support for a labor that can last days.
But wait, shouldn’t women support women?
Pregnancy, birth, babies. This line of work shares in the biggest joys and transitions of life. Due to the nature of this work, we often hear how much fun it must be and that all women need support. It’s true … it is, and they do!
The idea that women should support women is a bit of a touchy subject, we’ll be honest, and we think that comes from the idea that supporting other women shouldn't be about money.
The truth is, no support is free. Even if a Doula supports a family without a monetary exchange, there is a cost. It's a cost to the Doula and/or their family, and it's paid through the time, physical and emotional labor, education, and resources (gas, childcare, food, etc) spent while supporting someone else so fully.
That’s why we value our Doulas and want to pay them a living wage. We are worthy. As women, we want to show our children and our communities that we can and do support our families with the career we have chosen and pour our heart and souls into. Charging for support ensures we can meet our own needs and opens the door for us to give back to our community in ways we would not be able to do otherwise.
We Love What We Do and we continuously work to be the best. Yes, on call life and night shifts can be tough, but we can’t imagine doing anything else. In the last five years Bluegrass Doulas has supported over 350 families in their birth and parenting journeys. We’re thankful every day for the opportunity to work with Kentuckiana families and take pride in the wonderful stories and reviews you’ve shared with us!