How Much Does a Birth Doula Cost?

Apr 4, 2023 | Birth Doula

Before jumping into numbers, let’s consider why doulas cost what they do. A doula’s role is to support you as you decide what you would like your labor to look like, then help you make it a reality. On top of that, according to this Cochrane Review, doulas’ clients enjoy health benefits like decreased need for epidural, 25% decreased risk of Cesarean surgery, and increased spontaneous vaginal birth. More importantly, they have more positive feelings about their birth experience. How do we achieve all that? By providing unique-as-you support.

That is exactly why doulas like to get to know their clients early on. Most birth packages (like our Full Moon Package) include two prenatal meetings and one postpartum visit. We typically spend two hours at each meeting because our clients are full of questions they want answered, hopes they want to share, and fears they want to get off their chest and learn some coping tools for. As doulas, we get really excited to hear all of this and help you work out solutions. To help you do that, we will comb through our computers and bookshelves for resources relevant to your particular areas of concern–you won’t need to spend hours going down the Google rabbit hole! We will send you evidence-based information to help you achieve your goals, from turning a breech baby to managing gestational diabetes.

As doulas, we stay up to date on the best methods to support health, pregnancy, and birth. This looks like constantly reading new research studies and taking training courses. We often direct our continuing education toward topics relevant to our current clients. All the while, we are available by phone or email to answer questions, give referrals to holistic care providers and local educators, and offer encouragement and emotional support. It all continues after the birth too! The focus will simply shift from preparing for labor to navigating the fourth trimester and caring for your beautiful new baby.

Once you hit 38 weeks gestation, we officially go “on call,” meaning we plan our lives around being able to meet you wherever you’re at, whenever you need us, however long you need us, as you labor. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days! To honor this commitment, doulas typically limit their clientele to one or two due dates per month. It decreases the chance of missing one labor because we are at another, and allows us to provide the high quality support that is associated with 25% shorter labors and babies earning high APGAR scores, as noted in the study linked above.

You can see that we spend hours and weeks preparing you and ourselves for your labor, birth, and beyond. If you have an average first-time 12-19 hour labor, that’s about 30 hours of specialized support from your doula. In Orange County, California, experienced birth doulas usually cost between $1,500 and $2,500. It’s not pocket change, but it’s an investment in the healthy, beautiful birth you want. As the renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin said, “Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life.” This is your birth, your baby, and truly the beginning of the rest of your life. It’s worth investing in.

If you’re not sure if you can afford a doula, subscribe here to receive our next article: Ways to Pay for a Doula directly to your inbox!

This article was written by Lauren DePaul Trumbach exclusively for Moonchild Birth Services.