Molly Murray - Birth, Life, and Business Doula
So you've decided to add a birth doula to your team, but how much does a birth doula in Cincinnati cost anyway?
When I first started looking for a doula, pregnant with my second child and wanting a more natural birth experience than my first birth, which you can read about here, the first thing I thought was,
''Will I even be able to afford a doula?''
I scoured the Cincinnati Area Doula Society looking for the most affordable but still warm and approachable looking doula. Thankfully, I lucked out and found an incredibly warm, compassionate and enthusiastic doula named Peg. She was just starting doula work and charging a *really low* fee!
I was so thrilled!
I hired Peg after our first meeting and she was a great asset to my pregnancy and birth. You can read that birth story here.
Unfortunately, Peg is no longer doing this work and I have to wonder if part of it was that she wasn't making a fair living wage for all the work she was doing.
I know for my birth, she made pennies on the hour, after it was all said and done.
So, let's dive in...How much does a Cincinnati Doula cost?
Google tells me, ''the cost of a doula varies by region, but they often range from $800 to $2,500, with the average cost around $1,200. This includes a prenatal visit, labor, delivery and a post-delivery follow-up. Some insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost of a doula, depending on your plan.''
I can tell you that at this time, doulas in our area are much lower than national average. I foresee that gap closing as time goes on..
Doulas in the Cincinnati area range from $400 (students) - $1025+ (agencies).
My fee will be increasing in 2017 to $925. I've been a doula for 4 years, provide 2 prenatal visits, continuous birth support and 1 postpartum visit.
You can read more about my offering and fee here.
Why hire a doula and what does the research show, really?
Research shows that doulas are "one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes" (per the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists), but only a tiny fraction of U.S. women (3%) use them. (Improving Birth)
Doula support leads to:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience* (Evidence Based Birth)
Back to the cost of a doula...
I truly believe that every women deserves support in her pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I believe a doula is something to save for and invest in. The support of a doula made such a difference in my births and I've seen the support of a doula make a huge difference in the births I've attended.
Most doulas don't expect payment all at once. I accept payment arrangements and most of the families I work with pay 1/2 of my fee upon contract signing and the other 1/2 closer to their due date.
What if I can't afford a doula?
I am in connection with many student doulas in the area and would love to connect you with a doula that is in the price range that you can afford.
I understand that many cannot afford a doula, even at a reduced rate.
Through the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network, I hope to reach more at-risk, low income women and share with them their options for birthing and parenting support in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, connecting the dots, providing support to all, not just middle/high income women and families.. If you have a similar passion or have ideas on how we can do this together, please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cincinnati Mother, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Founder of the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network.