How Much Does a Doula Cost?
We know the value of a doula is improve outcomes, but what about the doula fee? People often ask about the cost and what goes into a doula’s rate. Doulas range in price from $1,500 – $8,000 depending on their market, experience and operations.
The Value of Having a Birth Doula
First things first, we know that doulas improve birth outcomes. According to this Cochrane Review, continuous labor support improved people’s perceptions of their births and increased the likeliness for a vaginal birth. To simplify the results, our friends at Evidence Based Birth broke it down for us:
“Overall, people who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and Cesareans. In addition, their labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth.“
What Goes into a Doula Fee
Some of you might see your doula support as the service within the window of labor, but there’s way more to it than those 10-48 hours of labor. Here are the things that that are built into the fee of the doula:
- On-Call Period – which potentially leads to missed holidays, important family dates, and appointments.
- Experience. How many births have they attended and have they birthed themselves?
- Education and qualifications, which may include lactation support, comforting touch/massage, homeopathy, secondary and advanced education, apprenticeship, prenatal yoga, etc.
- A network of Care Providers and services that the doula has access to
- 1-5 Prenatal Visits that cover prenatal education, building rapport and getting to know your preferences
- 1 Postpartum Visit to unpack the birth and help the family uncover any solutions or resources that may be required.
- Their Expenses (taxes, gas, travel time, marketing, website, office supplies, insurance, association fees, commission fees, etc.)
- Back-up Doula Fee Doulas work with other doulas for a back-up system since they live the “on-call life,” so they occasionally have to pay other doulas to cover them while they have a family emergency, another birth to attend or a planned black-out date
Most of the Village Birth doulas fall within the $2500 – $4000 range, with a few outliers. We are located in Los Angeles, so keep this in mind if you are reading from another market.
Lastly, a note about picking a doula. Every doula has their unique set of skills, personality, and professionalism. I invite you to interview a range of doulas and have an open mind. While experience and education definitely brings value to a doula, the most important thing is that you feel a connection with your doula. You want to feel safe and that you can be your most complete self in front of your doula.