What does it cost to be a doula?
This is really a loaded question.
The reason I’m mentioning it now is because I believe I’ll be up for taking births again in July, I’ve taken some time off, to get used to my new baby, and reevaluate my family life, goals and what it is I hope to achieve with this business. But I’m getting ready, client or no, to take the business on again, and with that I had to evaluate my costs… and when you add a new child to the family it changes everything, including your fee as a doula.
I’ve had to bump up my price from $500 to $550 for any upcoming births. This really shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, I was one of the cheapest doulas on http://www.doulamatch.com, and still am. Life costs money though, and since I now have to pay a sitter for 4 kids rather than 3 I had to adjust my fee. I apologize if this is hard for anyone financially, I don’t want to see anyone birth without the team of people they want present, so please if you are considering a doula, don’t let the numbers daunt you, contact me, or any other doula, some work voluntarily, some have scholarships available, some work for a discount, and most will consider your case individually. The money should never be an obstacle.
I also had to change my travel distance, I used to travel 90 miles, to do home visits, but that is no longer possible for me. I will still attend moms who are birthing within my area but live outside of it, so if you live outside the circle of 60 miles of my house, don’t let that hinder you either… We can arrange a place to meet, or I can add a small fee for the extra distance if you are set on me attending you! And I so wish you would consider me!
That is the logistics of this work, but there is also a great cost that has no monetary value as well. So here it is… what does it cost to be a doula?
When I agree to serve at a birth I have to be mindful of my family, most birth workers are, birth is so unpredictable, If I accept a birth on or near a holiday, or one of my family member’s birthdays, that means I may miss the time with them, something I will never get back.
When I agree to attend a birth, it means I may miss sleep. My husband and children may miss sleep too, I may have to wake them all in the middle of the night to carry the little ones out the door and to a sitter’s house.
When I agree to attend a birth, it is going to cost me prayers. I will lift my family, and yours up to my heavenly father all the way to our agreed meeting place. My prayers, and KLove fill the empty space in my car all the way to your birth. And often all the way to your home when I meet with you before labor.
When I attend a birth it costs me moments, moments that are then paid back by the incredible love I have for your family, for the new life that is brought into your arms. It costs my children sympathy, empathy, and prayers, and kindness, sharing and selflessness…. they learn that their mama is helping other mamas bring their babies into their arms. They learn that their mama is a warrior for the good of others, and that they can be too. It isn’t one birth that I return from that one of my lovely little children ask me “did you help that mama?” or “was the baby a girl baby or a boy baby?” or “was the baby cute, was the mama and daddy happy?” And at night as I tuck them in and say their prayers with them when a birth is coming up, I remind them that I may not be home in the morning and they pray with their passionate little voices for the mamas and daddies that are expecting a new baby to be safe, and happy, and have a good birth.
As I see a baby fresh from their mother’s womb and brought to her arms it costs me tears, tears of joy.
When a Daddy holds his son or daughter for the first time, it costs me a little space on my SD card as I click a photo of that moment.
One of the biggest costs I experience, is the wonder, I wonder constantly whether I have done my best, or if I made their space a safe one, a pleasant one, the one they imagined it would be. Was I a benefit? Was I helpful enough? Was I in the way?
None of my costs are ever too much, I gain far more than it will ever cost me.