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How much do doulas cost in your area?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'd appreciate if anyone wanted to post on this. I'm feeling overwhelmed at the prices the doulas in my area have quoted me-$500-750. It seems like a lot to me, then again I'm on the East Coast and everything is pricey where we live.
Thanks!
post #2 of 39
A lot. I was really surprsied as well because my girlfriend lives in MS and she is paying something like $200? I have found everything from $600-$1200. One woman had $800 but did a 30% discount for military so only $560 for us. Its kind of crazy IMO, but like you I live in a very expensive area (DC) and it was to be expected.
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
Yikes, $1200! I'm in the DC area too.
post #4 of 39
I paid $600 almost 5 years ago, and I'm paying $500 now.

Have you checked out dona.org? Also I am sure you could find someone who is still building a client history and will charge minimal or nothing for the experience.
post #5 of 39
$400-$800, from what I can tell. Try bellywomen.net for free or low-cost. Also check the dona, alace, and cappa sites for people working on their certifications who may charge less.
post #6 of 39
I'm in Dallas and doulas with average-to-a lot of experience are in the range of $400-$800.
post #7 of 39
About $1500 for a really experienced one in LA.
post #8 of 39
I'm in Minneapolis, and we have a huge doula community. Fees range from $400-800 around here.

However--there are always new doulas who are going for their DONA certification, for which a doula must attend 3 qualifiying births. Sometimes those new doulas offer free doula services. Last year I charged my first few clients $100 because they were births I used for certification purposes--they knew I had a doula heart, skills, and passion....but not so much experience yet.

No doula is in the biz 'coz they LOVE how lucrative it is. If that $500 fee seems too much to handle, TELL that to your prospective doula....there's a great chance that she'll have some ideas (payment plan, she knows a new doula, she has a doula friend who is cheaper, etc.)

Good luck! Every woman deserves a doula!
post #9 of 39
I've only looked into hypno-doulas, and the two I got prices from were $1500 and $1700. We went with the $1700 one, but her practice contains doulas ranging as low as $400. Also, we'll only be paying $1500 because she does a $100 discount for payment in full more than 30 days before your EDD, and another $100 if she can bring someone else along to take pictures and/or video of her providing you with doula services for promotional purposes. (She also offers a $100 discount if you want to skip the last prenatal visit, but we didn't go for that one.)

So, yeah, they can get PRICEY here. ;-) But you can find relatively new ones that are much more affordable. I dunno about $200... but $400 yeah.
post #10 of 39
On the east coast here too and the range was $400-$600 I believe depending on how much detailed/extended you wanted the service to be.
post #11 of 39
I paid $500 a year ago. (I'm on the east coast as well) I had a fantastic one, she was worth a million!
post #12 of 39
I wasn't going to post this in my original post, but decided to come back and do so. I KNOW that 99.9% of mamas considering a doula know the value of having a birth attendant and would pay incredible money to have the birth they desire. I am a doula, with midwifery experience before I had my own babies, and this is how my expense is broken down:

Gas/Parking @ Hospital Average (to/from 2 prenatals, birth, postnatal): $40
Childcare (2 kids) - $80 day/$10 hour for appts
Supplies (rice bags, chapstick, honey, emergen-c, snacks, homeopathy, lotions, etc) $10/birth

Then there is my time. If I average all of the appointments (6-8 hours) and a statistical average birth of 12 hours (my shortest has been 9 hours - longest 32 hours). I also am available for unlimited phone calls/emails (probably averages 4 hours/client) Charging $10 an hour would = $250 for the minimum hours.

So my cost and being paid $10/hour would make my minimum fee $400. That is the lowest I will go on my sliding scale, but with my experience I charge towards the middle-upper range in my area.

I'm not typing this in defense - I just am hoping to show how the fees are broken down. I *really* hope I don't offend anyone. Most doulas I know, myself included, look at each case and will reduce their fee based on circumstance.
post #13 of 39
Your doula will be totally worth what you pay (and then some!) and I'm saying this about my doula and I haven't even been through the labor and birth yet!!! Around here (Portland, OR) doulas I interviewed were between $500-800. But there is a midwifery school that trains doulas, and some of them only charged $300 - I guess because they're getting their certification or just starting out. So maybe there is a resource for that in your area.
post #14 of 39
LeAnnie~

I think a lot will depend on the doula community in your area. I live in Phoenix, AZ and have now had 2 experiences with hiring doulas.

With my first birth, I paid $500 when the avg range was between $450-$800.

This time around, we cannot come close to paying $500 due to unforeseen circumstances, but I didn't want to give up on my goal of having a doula for this birth. Sooo, although I can't comment on the difference in ability or service level of the doulas (I'm due in March), I can tell you that I am anticipating having 2 doulas present for the birth - one is charging $108 and she will get the "credit" for the birth so she can become certified and the other is volunteering for free eventhough she can't use the birth toward her certification. But I LOVE both of the ladies and feel that if the doula community where you live is like it is here, you should be able to find someone to help you even if you can't pay the "standard" rate.

This is how I went about it: I first went online to dona.org and did a search for doulas in my area. I then sent out an email asking for pricing info/availabililty and was up front with the fact that I would need lower cost services or some kind of payment plan.

I then sent out a similar email to a local ap mom's group through yahoo groups.

From there I received all kinds of emails ranging from reduced fees to offers for payment/barter plans, to additional names of women who are certifying, etc. and I went from there narrowing down the responses, setting up interviews and finally selecting two(!) doulas. I found that every doula I talked to was more than willing to work with me in some way, or was eager to suggest people they knew, etc. No one ever made me feel bad for wanting a doula, but not having the money for someone more "established."

Anyway, good luck in your search !

**And just as an aside, I do plan on writing recommendation letters, creating a birth cd with images, etc for both of them and also will be giving them each a gift for their services after the birth. I figure that even though I don't have a lot of cash, I can help them build their businesses with letters and images that show them "in the trenches" that they can share with other moms-to-be. I also do copywriting and have offered to help them with their marketing materials in the future if they are ever in need. So something like that might be nice if you work with someone for a lower fee.**
post #15 of 39
I'm on the east coast too. Our doula charged a range of 500-900, and we agreed upon $650-750, and DH and I decided to pay her $1000 after all was said and done. She was amazing, and was life-changing to me and DH. I had a lot going on before the birth, which she was involved with, and my labor was long - she came over at 11pm on a Wednesday (she lives 45 minutes from me), and I finally delivered (via c after a long labor) the following night, and she stayed with me and DH until we were comfortable, then she had another 1.5 hour ride home. So in essence, she was "awake" (as was I) for almost 48 hours.
post #16 of 39
I'm paying $1300 here in NJ.
post #17 of 39
We're paying $1000 here in the SF East Bay (Contra Costa County). She's a hypnobirthing instructor too...
post #18 of 39
I paid $950 for my DONA certified doula. And that was an absolute BARGAIN here in Los Angeles suburbs.
post #19 of 39
In my area, doulas who work for the hospital charge $150. They, obviously, are there to attend hospital births and since they are hospital employees, their fee is greatly subsidized. I had one with my DD and she was fantastic (not necessarily what I expected from a hospital employee).

Private doulas, though, charge around $600-700 in my area.
post #20 of 39
$600 - $1500 here in Jersey, depending on location and experience.
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