No. 4 // Planning for a Doula

Here you are, awaiting the arrival of your baby or perhaps in those early weeks with your newborn. You’ve spent money on the nursery, diapers, a few cute outfits you couldn’t pass up and anything you owe for your prenatal care or delivery. It can add up quickly, to the point where spending any extra can seem like too much.

Doulas are ValuableYou want some extra support, but how do you possibly afford a postpartum doula? While it may initially seem like an additional expense, having a doula can be absolutely invaluable. Here are some ways you can plan to get the support you deserve.

Save Ahead

If you know early on in your journey of conception or pregnancy that a doula is part of your postpartum plan, putting a little money away each month is one way to cover the cost. Create a separate savings account with your bank and transfer an amount that is comfortable for you directly to it each time you get paid, or once a month. If cash makes accountability easier, create an envelope and add to it as often as you can. Once you’ve hit the goal amount, seal the envelope and don’t open it until it comes time to pay your doula.

Register for it

Save some space in your baby registry to add Postpartum Doula Support as a gift that can be purchased. Several registry sites provide the option to add cash funds, and this is exactly where you’d list your want for a doula. I’m most familiar with Babylist, which has a specific fund for a doula; you’re allowed to set the dollar amount and there’s no limit to how many people can contribute.

Offer a Doula Jar

During your baby shower or Blessingway, put out a Doula Jar. Much like a tip jar, people can contribute what they’re able to. Don’t be shy to announce it and share why raising the funds to have a postpartum doula is important to you. Given that it’s not uncommon to receive multiple showers, you may be surprised at how quickly it could add up. Keep it around after the shower and use it in place of a swear jar. If you drop the occasional curse, you’ll get even closer to your fund goal!

Sell Stuff

Go through your clothes, closets and dig out anything that might be hiding in your basement or garage. Really take a good look at what you have but could part ways with. Take your clothes to a consignment store and see what they’d offer for them. If you have higher-end clothing, shoes or accessories, consider listing them on Poshmark or other sites tailored specifically for that. Facebook Marketplace makes it remarkably easy to sell pretty much anything – just make sure you take good photos of the items and include a detailed description to get the most interest.

Cut Non-Essentials

Work through your monthly budget or review your bank statement to see where you’re spending money, and get tough on yourself about frivolous purchases. Make your meals and coffee at home, cancel the gym membership you may not be using, trim out anything on auto-renew that isn’t necessary, don’t let yourself wander the aisles of Target…you get the point. Future You will be grateful you made simple sacrifices when you’re receiving support from your doula.

Start a Side Hustle

Visit your pre-teen self to channel creative ways to make some cash. If both parents jump into a side-hustle, it won’t be long before your doula fund is flush. Can you mow lawns, walk dogs, or house-sit? How about babysitting, tutoring students, driving for Uber, or delivering Amazon Eats? There are so many ways to make some extra dollars on your own time, just do some research to find out which is best for you.

If having the support of a postpartum doula is a non-negotiable, there are plenty of ways to make it happen. Everyone deserves a doula and when you shift your perspective from seeing them as expensive to being valuable, creating your plan to pay for one becomes much easier.