8 Tips to Pay for a Doula

Apr 4, 2023 | Birth Doula

Whether your heart is set on having a doula or you’re still making up your mind, you’ve probably clicked on this article because you’re wondering how to pay for one. With Orange County doulas running an average of $1,500-2,500, we know it’s no small commitment. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to make it more affordable. You can make this work and we want to help you do it!

Tip #1 – Set up a Payment Plan

Most doulas have a payment plan that allows you to make smaller payments over time instead of paying for everything up front. If a doula’s default payment plan doesn’t work for you, be honest! Ask for more options. Many doulas will be understanding and work out a plan that feels doable for you.

Tip #2 – Check for Discounts

Some doulas offer discounts. They may have a military discount. Others offer a discount if you take your childbirth education class with them. We at Moonchild Birth Services offer a discount if you’re working with an independent midwife or birth center.

Tip #3 – Ask about a Sliding Scale

Some doulas even work on a sliding scale so that clients facing more financial challenges can receive the same quality support. You may need to ask about it directly.

Tip #4 – Put it on your Registry

Usually we think of registries as lists of items you hope to be gifted, but things aren’t always what you need the most! These sites are designed so that your friends and family can help you get the support you need.

Tip #5 – Start a Doula Fund

If low tech is more your style you can create your own doula fund. It can be as simple as a blank envelope or something you custom make in a full-on craft session! It’s perfect to put out at your baby shower or blessingway, and any other time you receive a cash gift you can add it to the fund.

Tip #6 – Stick to a Budget

You can start budgeting for a doula as soon as you know you want one. You can set up a separate savings account at your bank or use the same doula fund mentioned above. Choose an amount that’s small enough not to interfere with your regular bills, and set it aside as soon as you get paid. Saving a set amount as soon as money comes in (instead of waiting to see what’s left over at the end of the month) will help your stash grow bigger, faster.

Tip #7 – Look into Insurance Options

Some insurance companies (including Tricare and soon Medi-Cal) will partially reimburse you for the cost of doula services. You may also be able to use your HSA or FSA. Typically, you will need a doctor’s referral for the doula services, and the doula will need to provide you with certain paperwork. Andrea Abenoza-Filardi breaks it down for you here.

Tip #8 – Consider Funding Alternatives

There are also special programs designed to help local families access care regardless of their financial means.

We want everyone to be able to work with the doula they want and hope that these tools and resources will put you on track to secure the support you deserve.

Written by Lauren DePaul Trumbach exclusively for Moonchild Birth Services.