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Doula Cost


How Much Does a Doula Cost?

 
low costLow Cost Areas: $250-$750average costAverage: $600-$700high costHigh Cost Areas: $1,000-$1,500
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According to Doulas of North America[1] , a doula is someone who accompanies a woman in labor, who "mothers" the mother, taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula is not intended to replace the role of the spouse or partner but will provide support and suggestions that can enhance their experiences of birth. The Doula Network[2] emphasizes that a doula is not a medical professional, but can offer a wide range of comfort measures during labor - from massage to aromatherapy to continuous reassurance and coping techniques.

Typical costs:

  • Services of a doula typically run from a low of $250 to a high of $1,500, although the national average is roughly $600-$700. Prices vary based on region. Doulas in larger metropolitan areas with higher costs of living can command higher fees. For example, doulas in San Francisco, CA charge an average of $1,250. Their counterparts in Cambridge, MA ask for an average of $725, while doulas in Little Rock, AK charge an average of $500.
Related articles: Lamaze Classes, Baby Delivery, Nanny, Cord Blood Banking

What should be included:
  • Most certified doulas will provide one or two pre-birth sessions in the home, will attend the birth at the hospital or birthing center and will do at least one post-birth home visit. Most will also offer free phone consultations to paid clients, and will arrange for a backup doula in case of emergency.
Discounts:
  • According to Birthing With Child[3] , certain company flex-spending accounts can be used for doula fees. Some insurance carriers also provide reimbursement for doulas.
  • The Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators[4] also says that most doulas will set up a sliding scale or payment plan to help those who normally wouldn't be able to afford a doula.
Shopping for a doula:
  • Doulas of North America[5] , DoulaWold[6] , the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association[7] and the Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators[8] offer searchable state-by-state directories of doulas. They suggest asking about the doula's training and education, and checking references. Prospective clients should also find out how often and where sessions will take place and get specific details about fees and backup plans.
  • Most doulas require a deposit of at least 50% of the fee, although many will offer 50% - 100% refunds if they are unable to attend the birth.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Spoke to some doulas...
Amount: $1,100.00 total
Posted by: First Time Parent in Palo Alto, CA.Posted: January 12th, 2008 01:01AM
We went to a "Meet the Doulas" night tonight and the stated range was $600-$1,500+ (averaging about $1,100), based on experience (number of births as doula, years of experience, certification), etc. This is in Palo, Alto, CA, which is a pretty expensive area. Several doulas had a sliding scale (like $1,000-$1,500), which is comforting considering you might end up getting a scheduled c-section and not using the doula's service much. Regardless, if you're even considering a doula, I do recommend going to a "Meet the Doulas" type of event. It was really helpful to meet a bunch to see whose style matches ours and with whom we clicked.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.dona.org/
  2.  www.pregnancyandbaby.com
  3.  www.birthingwithchild.org/doula_fee.htm
  4.  www.alace.org/index.html
  5.  www.dona.org/mothers/find_a_doula.php
  6.  www.doulaworld.com/doula/cfml/search/search.cfm
  7.  www.icappa.net/search/custom.asp?id=438
  8.  www.alace.org/index.html
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