There are many ways to afford a doula..
1. If you are not yet pregnant, start saving a little now!
2. Most doulas, myself included, ask for a deposit and then will arrange payment options. I ask for a deposit and then accept payments, with the full amount being paid in full by the end of the 37th week of pregnancy.
3. Put it on your baby registry! Most registries now have a spot for “miscellaneous” or donations… ASK for a doula! Are multiple outfits the baby won’t even wear more important than having a doula for labor and birth, or postpartum?
4. Let your friends and family know this is something you truly desire. They won’t know if you don’t tell them.
5. Insurance — I have applied for my provider # to help you file insurance. Not all insurance covers doulas, or the full fee, but it’s worth a try! My capability to file insurance should be here by the beginning of 2010. While we are on the subject of insurance, go to your human resources department and see if doula services are covered. If they aren’t, let them know in writing that you want this service covered!
6. Barter… do you offer a service that a doula could use?
7. Determine having a doula is a necessity. In most cases, the cost of a doula is HALF of what an epidural costs.. and a mere fraction of what a surgical birth costs.
Have the birth you desire and deserve! If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org