How much does a postpartum doula cost?
Exactly how much you’ll spend for postpartum doula services depends on where you live and what services you’re looking to get.
DONA international shares that some doulas are part of agencies while others are directly hired by parents. How much your doula costs will have to do with the amount of time and time of day.
Some doulas offer full days or part-time hours. Others offer overnight and even weekend care. Prices vary accordingly.
Don’t hesitate to ask about your doula’s rates. If you’re concerned about cost, you may want to ask about sliding scale options or potential third party insurance programs.
Some people are able to get doula services through community organisations.
What are the benefits of having a postpartum doula?
“I didn’t expect to use our doula postpartum, but I was open to it,” explains Amy Risher, mom of a 5-week-old, who gave birth recently during the COVID 19 Pandemic.
“What I also didn’t expect was really needing a community during isolation.”
“Our doula became that connection herself,” Risher says.
“She answered questions I would have asked my mom friends and cheered and encouraged me the way my mom does.
And she did her best to connect her clients and foster a community of new mothers.”
Along with fostering connection in a season of life that can feel quite isolating, there are some other benefits to having a postpartum doula.
In a study women who received doula intervention prior to giving birth and during the postpartum period were more likely to breastfeed their infants, at least initially.
Though more research is needed, additional information on this topic suggests that moms who have postpartum doulas have a higher satisfaction with breastfeeding and may even continue the nursing relationship longer.
PostPartum depression effects one out of eight new moms.
Risk factors include things like having:
• a history of depression or postpartum depression
• excess stress in your life
• not enough of a support network
• difficulty with breastfeeding
• multiples or a baby with special needs
A postpartum doula is a key person to have in your support network — easing some stress and empowering you in other ways.
Beyond that, a postpartum doula can also identify early signs of depression and give you resources so you get the help you need as soon as possible.
Portland-based doula group Shares that there are even more potential benefits of postpartum doula care.
They include things like being able to pump more milk resulting from higher oxytocin levels (a benefit from having a support system).
Moms may feel more confidence with their abilities and instincts.
And dads? They, too, can learn infant care skills much faster with some expert help.
Families who have doula help may be able to better understand the communication and needs of the new baby, which means — you guessed it — less crying.
How is a postpartum doula different from a baby nurse?
Baby nurses provide in-home care for newborns during the postpartum period.
They may be either licensed nurses or laypersons.
Some even work with babies who have special needs.
Whatever the case, a baby nurse’s primary goal is to take care of the baby’s needs.
Postpartum doulas, on the other hand, are mostly focused on the mother, partner, and overall family. While doulas do provide care for babies, their primary goal is to support the emotions of the mother and provide different expertise and infant education to parents.
Both roles are important — it’s just a matter of the type of support you need.
How do you find a postpartum doula?
Ask around. Your friends, family, or doctor/midwife may know of a doula or doula service in your area.
There are also a variety of resources you can find online for doulas of all sorts.
When interviewing potential doulas, consider asking:
• What do you like about being a postpartum doula?
• What services do you provide in the postpartum period?
• How would you support my partner/family in the postpartum period?
• Are you available around the time of year that I am due?
• What services are included in your fee? What services cost extra?
• Do you have any experience or training in postpartum mental health?
• What experience do you have with infant feeding, like breastfeeding?
• Do you have any restrictions that I should know about?
Don’t feel pressure to hire the first doula you meet. Consider the answers to the questions and the confidence you see in the person.
While it’s a little woo-woo, also go by how you and your partner feel. If you feel any sort of connection, non-judgement, or excitement — those are good signs that you’ve found the one.
A postpartum doula can be an invaluable person to have in your corner when your baby arrives.
“It’s been a lifesaver to be postpartum with a doula,” explains Risher. “Having the doula provided so much relief for my postpartum healing, too.
I encourage other mothers to utilise doulas, pandemic or no pandemic.”
Whatever path you choose, be sure to think ahead about surrounding yourself with support during the transition to becoming a new mom.