Doula on a Shoestring


Photo via Better Birth Doula

A Doula For Every Woman Who Wants One.

I deeply share DONA’s philosophy above. Actually I would like to change it a little bit … A Doula For Every Woman Who Needs One. (Don’t miss reading WHY.)

I also believe that doulas, even inexperienced ones, need to be fairly compensated for their work. If you don’t invest in your doula, then your doula can’t afford to continue to be a doula. Think about it, if a doula can’t feed her family (let alone pay her babysitter), then won’t be able to offer doula services. For many other points to that argument, read here.

Some of us do, but many of us don’t have the typical doula’s fees lying around (especially when we are planning to have a baby!) When Mike and I were pregnant with Tucy, we had to choose between having a homebirth or having a crib. Luckily I got some good advice from my beloved supervisor … she told me we could always have the baby sleep in a dresser drawer!


From Signs You’re Not Even Close To Ready For A Kid (glad we didn’t read that one ahead of time)

So How Can We Afford A Doula?

The easiest answer: think outside the box. (or into a drawer. Ha ha)


If you plan ahead (yeah, you’re going to have to start doing that), then you can hire a doula early in your pregnancy. That way you can make arrangements in advance to pay her a little bit at a time over a longer period of time. No matter what you do, pay at least half (if not the majority) of her fees before you birth … not just for her sake, but for yours. When you are sleep deprived, leaky (in more ways than one) and emotional after giving birth, handing over a big check in one go is gonna make you cry. Trust me.



I love you, and I love Starbucks, but no …. just No. You need to sit down and really look at your budget and decide what matters to you versus what doesn’t.

Note: while this will help you pay for a doula, it’s gonna help you way more than that … it will help you learn to budget. This is a gift that keeps on giving.

Money Draining Habits To Trim:

  • No more Starbucks.
  • No more Cable TV. (Save a lot of money by cutting TV completely or switch to Netflix where you can get unlimited instant watching for $7.99 per month.)
  • Start reading your billsCall your cell phone company and ask for a rate plan analysis. You could significantly lower your bill that way. 
  • Learn How to Cook.
  • Stop going to the movies. (Netflix, Hulu, Redbox … you can still watch movies, you just have to wait longer)                              

Note: Do you want to start crying yet? When I first did this, I cried too. But three years later, our budget is in tip-top shape, and I don’t miss my take-out Thai food. Did you know that when you spend money wisely, you get to work less? CHA-CHING.


Read about the blessing way at Mystic Mamma


Have you ever heard of a Honeymoon Registry? Instead of spending money on housewares, loved ones contribute toward the honeymoon of a couple’s dreams.

Well, what about the Birth of Your Dreams?

Inside of a typical baby shower, have a blessing way. Instead of having a traditional baby registry, have a Birth and Babymoon Registry where your loved ones can contribute to the cost of a birth doula’s (and postpartum doula’s) fees.


Girl, see all that money you saved? Now you can afford to pay for your doula. Via the Other Baby Book


I have had friends fund almost anything, including start-up businesses, film projects, disaster relief funds, volunteer medical relief trips, and alternative cancer treatments via web-based platforms like GoFundMe. Why not set up your Birth Doula Fund?

Stop making excuses why I Can’t, and start asking Why Not?

Jagger Photography, bellingham birtth photography

Photo by Jagger Photography

Ask for help, have faith, and let the Universe (and God) provide.


5 Ways To Pay For A Midwife or Doula

Should Had a Doula

How to Get Your Health Insurance to Pay for a Doula

Can I Afford a Doula? With Suze Orman

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