What goes into the cost of doula care?

Is it worth the cost?

 Doulas charge 0.41% of the total cost of raising your child.

“There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” -Pamela Nadav

Most Doulas do this work because we love it. We feel a calling, a passion towards supporting families as they evolve. For some Doulas it’s hard to ask for what they’re worth, we’re in an intimate field and most of us are nurturers and carers. Remembering to charge enough to cover costs and still make money can be difficult.

So what exactly goes into Doula costs?

Typical costs across Canada:

  • Most Doula care in Canada ranges from as low as $400 a birth to as high as $1750! 
    • This ranges heavily with most city Doulas charging around $1000 per birth where cost of living is higher and rural doulas charging $600-$700.
  • The average yearly income for a Doula is $15,000 to $30,000 for a full time Doula. 
  • Doulas often offer sliding scales or discounts to their normal prices so that they may support more families.

So how do you calculate what to charge?

  • Many Doulas charge with a sliding scale, or have various packages outlining differing amounts of services. 
  • Doulas calculate their wages based on an average of 25 hours with each client, and we know labour can often run much longer than that!
  • Normal packages tend to include 2 prenatal appointments (roughly 4-6 hours), going on call for two weeks prior to your due date, continuous labour support (anywhere from 3-36 hours), and two postpartums (roughly 4-6 hours). 
    • Meaning per client a Doula may work between 12-55+ hours 

What do you get for your money?

  • Many Doulas will include 2 prenatal appointment 
  • You will likely receive 24 hour support via text/email from the time of contract signing on. 
  • Lots of Doulas have an array of books and literature you will have access to. 
  • You will receive continuous labour support designed for you and your family. 
  • Most Doulas are trained and are continuing to certify in other relevant fields. 
  • Many Doulas include additional services like belly binding, henna, birth photography, acupuncture, and so much more. 
  • Your Doula will visit you a few times postpartum to check up on how you are transitioning to life with baby.

Doulas have to consider the fact that birth work is unpredictable. When you sign a contract and pay for Doula services you do not at that time know if the work will be 12 hours or 55 hours.

Unlike hospital staff, private Doulas don’t work on a schedule. When they go on call two weeks before your due date, they can’t drink, go more than an hour away from you, or be unavailable for any reason. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety among Doulas.

Like a lot of professions, Doula work is seasonal. With the busiest month being September (guess we know how people stay warm in the winter ;) ). This means their income can see a sharp decline through the winter months. Making budgeting very important.

Most Doulas are self-employed. Which means that much of their income goes to taxes and business expenses. If a Doula wishes to for example,  save for retirement, they need to open an RESP, since they won’t be generating a pension. Emergency funds, sick funds, vacation pay, it all comes out of their package cost.

Doulas do this work not for the love of money, but for the love of woman, of families, and of birth. Due to the bleeding heart nature of the profession many Doulas may be willing to work with a sliding scale, offer you discounts, or set up payment plans to make things more affordable for your family.  

The services provided by Doulas are unique to each Doula but always include education, support, and advocacy. You can be confident in knowing that your Doula is committed to serving you and your family and is their because they earnestly love what they do.

Fun fact: It will cost you $243,656 to raise your child to the age of 18. This doesn’t include any extras.

The average Doula services would cost you 0.41% of that!