Safety rated car seat $400
Intricate hand woven “one of a kind” wrap $500
“I’m sure that a doula is worth her fee, but it’s a lot of money right now with a baby coming and me going off work.”
I hear this a lot when I am in the community meeting new parents-to-be. And, yes, you are right. A doula is not cheap. Babies are not cheap. When you are having a baby, especially your first, expenses really add up! When you look at the price tag for a stroller, car seat, crib, bassinet, wrap, baby carrier, diapers, clothing, blankets, birth certificates, baby photographer, RESP’s, and on and on, it can be a little daunting. And, this goes on for the next 20 or more years! When I started having babies, 15 years ago, I was told that it would cost me $250,000 to raise that child. Thank God it’s not all up front!!
Which brings me to my first point…
In the grand scheme of how much this baby, this little bundle of joy and delight, will cost you, a doula is a tiny portion of that amount. This little one will blow through diapers, eat through the fridge and before you know it be asking to borrow the car or, even worse, your credit card!
Point number two…
You will never regret hiring a doula! Have you heard about birth memories? Research has shown that, no matter what happens, birth is such a momentous event in a mother’s life that there are certain parts of the birth that she will never forget. This is why pregnant women all over the world get stopped in public by old women who want to touch their belly. Women remember. They remember their babies, their bellies, their good experiences and the bad. When you hire a doula you improve your chance for better birth outcomes. You are less likely to need interventions and are more likely to feel good about your birth. Therefore when you REMEMBER, your birth, it will be a positive memory.
Point number 3…
What do you get for your investment in a doula? In addition to the things I have already mentioned, you have on-call availability of a specially trained woman who is totally dedicated to your emotional well-being. She will be the one person at your labour and birth who is solely dedicated to this. She will support you and your partner through the many long hours and twists and turns of labour. She will help you find the resources needed, help you ask questions and help you find the answers that are right for you. Your doula will support you and your partner on your journey through birth and into parenthood. She will leave you feeling like the strongest parent you can be.
Point number 4…
Her support is priceless. A stroller, a car seat and a baby carrier will eventually be thrown out or passed on to a friend or a sister. A doula will empower you. The memories you make, the parent you become, the child you raise will be with you forever. Priceless.
Hire some support. She will be worth her weight in gold!
*So, how much does a doula cost anyways? In Kelowna, most experienced doulas charge between 500 and 1500 dollars; a chunk of change and certainly more than I usually have lying around. Ok, truth, I’ve never had that much lying around! But, I like to look at it this way. If your doula costs you the $1000 Kelowna average, and it costs you about $250,000 to raise your child, your doula will be 0.004% of your total child-rearing costs (and likely much less if you consider inflation).