How much do doulas cost in your area? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#2 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 09:42 AM
 
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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.

Mama to nine gorgeous babies, with finale #10 due April'14.
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#3 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes, $1200! I'm in the DC area too.
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#4 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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$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.
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#6 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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I'm in Dallas and doulas with average-to-a lot of experience are in the range of $400-$800.

We are a family of Jesus loving urban-nesters living the granola life in a not-so-crunchy city.  Our kids (DS 8, DS 7, DD 4) are home birthed and educated, and we just found out that a new Little will be added to our roost mid-April '14!

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#7 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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About $1500 for a really experienced one in LA.
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#8 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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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!
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#9 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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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.

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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#11 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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I paid $500 a year ago. (I'm on the east coast as well) I had a fantastic one, she was worth a million!
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#12 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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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.
pickle18 likes this.

We are a family of Jesus loving urban-nesters living the granola life in a not-so-crunchy city.  Our kids (DS 8, DS 7, DD 4) are home birthed and educated, and we just found out that a new Little will be added to our roost mid-April '14!

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#13 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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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.

Mama to a daughter (3/2008) and a son (7/2011)
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#14 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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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.**
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#15 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 06:33 PM
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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.

twins 7.02 ⢠DS 10.06 ⢠OMG #4 1.08 ⢠ebf + tandem nursing!
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#16 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm paying $1300 here in NJ.

Me , him , and the two most beautiful little lovey girls in the world: 3/08 and 1/10. Planning our escape from the treadmill!
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#17 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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We're paying $1000 here in the SF East Bay (Contra Costa County). She's a hypnobirthing instructor too...
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#18 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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I paid $950 for my DONA certified doula. And that was an absolute BARGAIN here in Los Angeles suburbs.
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#19 of 39 Old 01-24-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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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.

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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#20 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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$600 - $1500 here in Jersey, depending on location and experience.
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#21 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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We paid $550 3 years ago, in the Seattle area. That was cheap at the time--I think the going rate was around $700.

Mama to DS 3/05 and DD 1/08
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#22 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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900 in the Washington DC area - sounds high, but this is a practice with three women. They each do a prenatal visit covering different topics (the last meeting was showing me how to use the ball, and my husband where to do massage), and then they rotate who is "on call" for births. They're available 24/7 for questions through the pregnancy, they stay and establish breastfeeding after the birth, they take pictures, write a birth story, and do a follow up visit.

Honestly, I think their price is very fair considering what I'm getting out of it. I think the only way they're making a living is that they watch each other's children during appointments and births for free.

Mama to EG, Mate to MD, Writer, Editor, International Jewel Thief.
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#23 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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DC area - for experienced doulas, $800 to $1200 for experienced individual or small group practices. If you go with a service, you pay a registration fee, plus and fee on the higher end of the range.

It is hard to compare fees, due to the variations in service. There are doulas who charge less because they do one prenatal (rather than 2 or 3) and no postpartum visit. There are some that charge more because they are have decades of experience and are worth every bit. I recommend not just comparing the $$$, but comparing the value of the package, the experience level of the doula. All that is important, but honestly, the best doula for you is the doula that you "click" with the best.
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#24 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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In San Diego County, the average is $600-$800. In Orange County, it's closer to $700-1000, and in LA County, it's usually over $1000.

I don't know a single doula who doesn't have some sort of sliding scale to work with families who are lower income or have financial hardships. All you have to do is ask!

And I think that it's worth the $...obviously I'm biased

Many student doulas will work for VERY reduced fees. We were taught in my training not to do births for free- people value your services depending on what they pay, so even if all you charge is a small fee, the client is more likely to value your service than if you do it for free. Even when I was doing my training births technically for free, all of my families gave me at least $300 as a "tip".
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#25 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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Anyone know if the fee's in Canada are higher or lower?
Thanks.
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#26 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I had just moved to Santa Fe and did alot of research to find a doula online. I wound up working with the local hospital's doula matching service and I am SO thankful I did. It cost about $485 (I don't know what she charges independant of the hospital) but it was worth a million. My doula, Mona Malin is an incredibly compassionate, intelligent, intuitive, prepared, supportive, wonderful woman and mother. I will never be able to thank her enough for helping me with my challenging and SUCCESSFUL VBAC. Doulas are fantastic and worth every penny.
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#27 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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$1000-$2000 unless the person is still in training and them sometimes less.

For less expensive or free doulas check out bellymom.com to see if there is someone in your area. Also, talk to your doula about what you can afford and how low she can go. Also, bartering is great. I'll happily trade with people for some or all of my fee depending on what they can barter for. My dh barters for food at a local organic restuarant, for example, and I have taken sewing barters and other trades.

Good luck!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#28 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalex View Post
Anyone know if the fee's in Canada are higher or lower?
Thanks.
I am in Calgary, Alberta and the going rate for doulas here is $900. I'm unsure of what they are in other provinces though. I have heard that in some provinces they are covered by health care as are midwives......Too bad I'm in Alberta- I have to pay 3500 for my midwife here, but my awesome doula charges half her rate if you are having your second baby with her and she attended your first...pretty sweet!

Crunchy Mama to 3 boys bikenew.gif'06  and superhero.gif '08  h20homebirth.gif  and  moon.gif '10  uc.jpg

 

And a brand new baby  babygirl.gif born 4/12 uc.jpg

 

joy.gifOur family is now complete  chicken3.gif

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#29 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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I'm in Madison WI and got quoted $400-600. You could try finding a doula-in-training that needs to get her birth hours before she can officially become a doula.

Ally
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#30 of 39 Old 01-25-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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WoW!! Some of those prices are high in my area a doula is $250

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