If you’re currently pregnant and planning for your birth and postpartum, you may be considering hiring a postpartum doula to support you. Once you’ve found one or two prospective postpartum doulas, it’s likely that they sound like just the sort of thing you need - but the question is, how much does a postpartum doula cost to hire?
The super-short answer to this question is that the price of hiring a postpartum doula can vary - typically between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds.
From the outset, that looks like quite a jump - so what factors are influencing this cost?
- Duration of support - as in, how many home visits do you get and how often? How long do the visits last for?
- Support between visits - do you get any contact with your doula in-between her face-to-face visits? Via text/phone/email?
- Services that are/are not included within visits - eg. one doula may cover looking after siblings during their visit and another may not
- If the doula provides food, the cost of her buying the ingredients may be factored into the price, or this may be separate and it up to your household to provide ingredients.
- Added value in packages - for example things like gift baskets, memberships to other programs or resources, contact lists.
- Whether the support is carried out face-to-face, online, or a mixture of both.
Packages versus hourly rates
At Empowered Mothers Network, we have a couple of postpartum doula packages that you can choose, or we can provide you with a custom quote if you need more or less support than what's in our standard Peaceful Postpartum package.
What we don't have however, is an hourly rate. If you've already had a Google to find some other options for postpartum doulas, you may have noticed that out of those who display prices on their websites, a proportion of those are hourly rates.
Firstly, if you choose a postpartum doula on an hourly rate, make sure you confirm what a minimum booking is - do you have to book a minimum number of hours/visits?
Secondly, does the hourly rate include support between and outside of visits? Does it include anything extra such as resources, gifts, or are these chargeable extras if you want them?
Our package costs take factors like these into consideration - so it simply doesn't work if you try to divide the cost by the visit times and come up with what looks like a high hourly rate.
What we can do though, is break it down a bit to give you an idea of why it costs what it does to hire a postpartum doula.
Our Package Costs
To get a handy guide of all the different packages we offer and their prices, you can download the Price Guide - but for now we're going to look at the Peaceful Postpartum Package, which is our main, premium package for hiring a postpartum doula.
Let's break it down...
Total cost of package: £1200
- Gift basket (worth £60)
- 12 month membership to the EMN Circle (worth £84)
- My time - both during and between visits behind the scenes. I only take on one client at a time on this package, so that I have the capacity to really make sure you're getting the support you need. As I also have two very young children, there's childcare costs to factor in too whilst I'm working.
- My knowledge (courses, CPD etc)
- My travel if you're located within the standard area I cover
- Expenses (oils, ingredients, business costs, office costs)
- A small percentage profit so we can continue to trade and offer subsidised places to women at risk/on low income on future groups/courses
Hopefully, this gives you a more clearer picture of what currently goes into the cost of a package. Make sure you've had a look at what the package offers you too, as this outline is purely the nuts and bolts!
"I'm not sure I can afford a Postpartum Doula..."
I hear you - for a lot of families it seems like a big cost to outlay at an already pretty expensive time in your life.
Some options for you:
- For the Peaceful Postpartum Package or a bespoke package, we can arrange a payment plan to spread the cost.
- Look at the One-Off in-home Package, or postpartum support online, both of which are much more affordable if you're on a budget
- Keep in touch with us - as a CIC we aim to subsidise certain types of support for women at risk of perinatal mental health issues and/or on little/no income. When we have places available like this, we'll let you know via our newsletter.
- Look at what kind of support is going to be the most important for your family after baby arrives - for example, if practical support in running the household is the area you need help with, then it may suit you better to pay an hourly rate to a cleaner/housekeeper.
A Final Point...
Like a lot of things, hiring a postpartum doula is not ever going to be cheap. But you will gain so much value from it, especially so if your support network is already tiny or non-existent - then it can really be a game-changer.
Having a baby is one of those times (another is weddings) where people will spend a lot of money on having the 'right' things - the designer pram, the outfits they end up wearing once for a couple of hours, and all the gadgetry to try and get baby to settle/sleep. Totally with you on the last one, I had a cupboard-full.
Thing is, baby doesn't need a designer pram or even a luxe christening party. They just need a mama whose own well is full enough to love and care for them.
And for that mama, you need support.