I'm Poor! How can I afford a doula?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Now that you know education and support is more important that baby gadgets, here are some ideas on how to pay for that education and support if you are on a tight budget.

  1. As I alluded to in my last post, resist buying the expensive stroller and other baby gadgets and instead use that money to pay for your birth education and support.
  2. When family and friends ask what you need for the new baby explain, "We are preparing to have a positive and prepared birth and postpartum experience. To help support this goal, we are hiring a childbirth educator/doula/etc. We would be so happy if you contributed to a fund that would help us pay for these services." **Update 6/1/15: See ideas for online cash contribution registries at the bottom of this post.**
  3. Also, some birth professionals offer gift certificate options. This is a great thing to have on your baby shower registry. Ask your doula, childbirth educator or lactation educator if they have this option. I recommend taking a class from Lindsey Shipley at Lactationlink.com. She has gift certificate options for her in-person and on-demand video breastfeeding classes!
  4. Put away a little money each month now, even before you are pregnant. That way, you won't be surprised with lots of expenses when you get closer to delivery. 
  5. Ask about payment plans. My doula accepted a portion of her fee each month until we paid it off at 36 weeks. This is a great option especially if you book your doula early on in your pregnancy!
  6. Sell items around the house. Pay for your doula and get rid of junk! Win-win.
  7. Doulas, as well as lactation consultants (perhaps even childbirth educators) can be paid for with an HSA account. (Sometimes, check with your particular card).
  8. Cut back. Take a month or two cutting back on certain items (eating out, cable, treats, etc) and use that money to put away for your birth education and support. 
Creating a team of knowledgable, experienced and dedicated birth professionals is one of the best decisions you can make regarding your birth and postpartum experience. Allow these wonderful women to surround you with their love and guidance by preparing now!

**Online registries such as myregistry.com, plumfund.com and babylist.com have customizable cash contribution amounts that can be used for the birth and postpartum services you desire.
  1. MyRegistry.com allows you to create a "cash gift fund" that you name. It also allows for Paypal payments for that fund. For ideas, you can look at one I made for fun here.
  2. Plumfund.com does the same thing, but allows for multiple people to contribute to one item. For ideas, you can look at one I made for fun here.
  3. Babylist.com allows you to make custom cash fund items under the section, "It Takes a Village" but does not accept payments. For ideas, you can look at one I made for fun here.


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