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Why is a doula so expensive?

Lets sit down and have a chat about this shall we?!

I've had some conversations with people lately who are confused about the cost of a doula, and where the value lies in what we are worth.

Lets break it down specifically for our "Dynamic Package" -

Our package includes:

- Prenatal Education Class

- 3 perinatal visits (can be scheduled before your baby is born, or after)

- unlimited email and text support from the second you sign your contract, to 6 weeks postpartum

- on call from when you sign your contract to when your baby is born

- support of your entire birth with no time cap

- access to a variety of resources and our lending library

- Facebook groups for additional support.

And now let's discuss these in detail.

1: Prenatal Education Class: We prefer to be the ones to educate you on birth, we have built this class with our own deep anatomy and physiology knowledge and added gems from our experiences as doulas. When we know what you know it makes our support seamless.

However this being said, you are welcome to take a different Prenatal Education class somewhere else and this cost can be removed from your package.

The value is $200. This is a 5 hour class done in a group setting. Its been priced on par with other prenatal education classes in the area. This can also be removed or swapped if you are having a subsequent birth and don't need it.

Common questions:

" but I can do it at the health unit for free" - let me give you an honest answer. Free doesn't necessarily mean optimal. The free class is basic, and you can do it in addition to ours if you want. If you feel like you deserve the cheapest option for Prenatal Education than absolutely take the free class, but if you want high level education for a birth you want to look back on with positive feelings, and not feel out of control, than a paid course is a better option for you.

2: 3 Perinatal visits: Being your doula is an intimate job. You are inviting us into your circle, your family bubble. We could be together for more than 24 hours at your birth. A Prenatal visit done before your birth is so important for developing that "know, like, trust' factor to solidify a awesome relationship.

Prenatally we discuss your fears, concerns, worries, and then your birth ideals and goals. We talk about family history, family management, partner involvement, how you picture support, and more importantly how you want to FEEL at your birth.

Postpartum visits include decompressing after the birth. Its incredibly therapeutic to talk about your birth with someone who was present and engaged for the majority of it! We help fill in the gaps, answer questions, and work through it together. We also can help with Infant Feeding support, sleep questions, healing questions, relationship questions, visitor management. We have seen it ALL!

Feeling in control, but just tired? We can help you catch up on sleep, or lend a hand to some household chores!

These visits are priced at $75 each.

* but wait! If you feel like you do not need these visits, maybe you only want one? Maybe your mom is an IBCLC and you don't need us to come after. Everything is customizable. And if you change your mind, we add it back on! We are fluid and flexible.

3: Unlimited email and text support: You've got questions? We've got answers. We are your personal assistant, your google and your coach. Whether its informational support you need, or emotional we are always happy to chat. We have our phones set to notify us when you text, so if its urgent, you will get an answer right away. Sometimes your answer may require some research in which case we get to work and get you the current, evidence based answers for what you need. This looks like us stepping away from family dinners, birthday parties, social gatherings, etc to be present for you. Not a small ask.

Can you text/email your doctor and get an answer?

Can you text your lawyer? What about your plumber or electrician?

We are experts at this, with incredible value. We recognize that, and honour it for ourselves. If we didn't value this part of our work we would easily get burnt out and resentful.

This is valued at $50

4: On call from the minute you sign your contract.

This one is huge. Being on call means we can't leave the city and surrounding area without knowing someone else is available. We have you on 'soft alert' on call until you are 37 weeks, and then 'hard alert' on call from 37-42 weeks. Soft alert means our phone will always ring when you call. If anything urgent occurs outside of full term, you will not be alone, and someone will be able to support you either virtually or in person if necessary.

Full term on call looks like us being incredibly organized:

-birth bag and supplies in car

-extra clothes packed

-knowing where my kids are going to go/be at all times. Having multiple back ups arranged for pick ups, drop offs, school bus morning, and more!

-telling people "yes I'll be there, but I may have to go to a birth"

-leaving weddings, showers, birthday parties, cottages, the beach, etc. And being totally OK with it!

-having the car filled with gas, and food for feeding ourselves for at least 24 hours.

-going to sleep every night wondering when the call will come in

-holding space emotionally for our clients and joining them on the 'when will it happen' wonders.

-no vacations, no spontaneous trips away, no drinking.

I know, you may be reading this and thinking "You chose this though, not my problem"

I hear you. You're right.

We are passionate about this work. We love it. We thrive on the adrenaline of on call life. I love feeling proud afterwards of my calmness and flexibility. However that all doesn't mean we don't deserve to be paid for that time. We want to be excited to jump out of bed! We want to look forward to that call to leave our kids birthday party, and doing that without a value attached does not feel good. We want you to feel GUILT FREE when you reach out, and you can do that because you know we are being paid to be reactive, and to manage our own feelings and lives.

The value of this is $275

5: The Birth!

In Canada with OHIP covering your primary care provider, OBGYN, Doctor or Midwife; the financial costs of interventions are hidden. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but the emotional, somatic and physiological costs are not hidden. Birth trauma is real. Lack of consent at births is a problem. Lack of education going into a birth opens you up to all kinds of risks and interventions.

I’m not saying that a doula can prevent all birth traumas, all interventions or all need for extra pain management. But the research is there, and the evidence is saying that having a doula educating you in pregnancy, and by your side in labour, reduces your chances of having a C section, reduces your need for an epidural, and reduces your chances of having interventions in birth such as inductions, episiotomies and forceps. It also increases positive feelings post birth. More people who hire a doula look back on their birth fondly versus people who didn't.

We also don't put a time cap on our birth attendance. If we need a break, we swap out with a back up, but that cost is not on you!

We have been at births from 4 hours to 40 hours. Once again, that is our problem. We chose this and it is up to us to manage our sleep, self care, and energy!

With the nature of on call work, and its unpredictability we make sure to work in that value. We can't take on more than 3-4 clients a month because we want to be at your birth.

Birth support is valued at $750 when placed in a package. *note* if wanting to hire us just for birth support, the on call fee must also be added.

5: - access to a variety of resources and our lending library

- Facebook groups for additional support

These are included perks. We love our jobs and are always upgrading, reading, and remaining current. We listen to podcasts, read blogs and do research. We buy books, and we share them with you. This is the benefit of hiring a doula from an established agency who have experience in the business, and drive to improve daily.

So there you have it. Our current package price is $1500. That cost is all broken down here. It.s also all customizable. You can build it a la carte how you see fit, and we can accommodate that.

Any questions? Send us an email. We are always happy to chat!

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