How To Get The Moolah to Pay for Your Birth or Postpartum Doula: Podcast Episode #207
Kristin Revere of Gold Coast Doulas chats about how to get the funds to pay for your birth or postpartum doula. This includes insurance, gifting support, payment plans, packages, and more.
This is Kristin Revere with Ask the Doulas, and this is part two of our solo chat with me. Our topic today is based on an old blog post I wrote when I was a solo doula, titled How To Get the Moolah To Pay For Your Doula. So it’s all about affording your birth and/or postpartum doula. So let’s chat!
Flex savings, HSA, & Medicaid
Doulas have been part of most health savings and flex spending plans for a bit now, and that is super exciting. We’re even approved to take HSA cards. Now, those plans, depending on each unique one, may need to be itemized; may sometimes need doctor approval, especially if it’s a flex spending, and often covers not only birth doula support, but often day or overnight postpartum care. Now, as of this recording in 2023, standard insurance does not cover doulas. But certain states do have Medicaid coverage, Michigan being one of those as of January 2023. Now, at Gold Coast, we don’t personally accept Medicaid at this time. We did a whole podcast on that in the past, and we’ll link to that episode if you scroll down to the bottom under Links. If you want to learn more about Medicaid coverage in Michigan or Oregon or New York or other states that do cover it, listen to that podcast.
We’re finding more and more gifting of services, especially after the pandemic. You can add doula support to your baby registry and have links to the doula groups or individual doulas or agencies like Gold Coast that you would like to work with. You can also work with sites like Be Her Village that has their own registry service, not only for doulas, but other professionals that do support families after baby is born and during pregnancy. We are partnered with Be Her Village, and you can find all of our services on their website. I also happen to be set up in an in-store baby registry through our local baby store in Holland, Michigan, called EcoBuns Babies. They’ve added us to their virtual and in-store registry. It makes it so much easier. Instead of getting all the stuff and baby items, why not get the support you need, especially with a postpartum doula?
Many doulas also offer payment plans. You can look into making a deposit and then see what their terms are for final payment for postpartum support. If a client wants to reserve a particular doula or a team of our overnight doulas, for example, then they would put a deposit down and then pay another final payment before the first shift begins, and then after their block of hours that they choose, then they’re able to add on week to week and get invoiced weekly as needed. That’s certainly another option.
We certainly also encounter clients who want to use their credit card to get points, so that’s an option. We take checks and other payment methods besides an HSA or a credit card. And we do believe in supporting other businesses and shopping local, so we hope that you find a lot of local resources when you’re making your baby registry and choose local stores. Choose local service-based businesses like Gold Coast and other doula groups and lactation consultants, so as you’re planning for birth and baby, think local.
Many doulas and other birth and baby professionals offer packaged rates. So, for example, at Gold Coast, if you purchase our HypnoBirthing class and hire a birth doula within Gold Coast, then you get a discount. We give $30 off as of this recording, and we also have packages where the more hours of day or overnight postpartum support that you purchase, you get a lower hourly rate. There may be discounts for other particular categories. For us, we have a military discount for birth and postpartum support. We also offer a discount for repeats clients. As our rates raise, we want it to be as affordable for them and we value that long-term connection.
I think this is pretty unique to Gold Coast, but we also offer a postpartum and mood disorder discount for any clients who are suffering and really need that postpartum doula support, or for clients who are in therapy in general, we give $2 off per hour. So there may be discount plans or packages, or you might be able to make multiple payments to afford your doula.
So just thinking about planning for birth and baby, again in that way that you would for a wedding or building a home or moving into a new home and redecorating, what is important to you? What’s your budget? How are you going to pay for it? When are payments due as you’re breaking down your household budget? Certainly, there is so much evidence that doula support ensures your satisfaction, even if there are interventions. It can reduce interventions, reduce the rate of Cesareans, which then could reduce your medical bills if you’re having fewer interventions, based on the insurance you carry. And then another thing to think of is getting more sleep and how that can affect your mental health with a postpartum doula or a newborn care specialist. It’s definitely worth the investment to have support versus all the things.
Doulas added to benefit plans
Other ways to pay for your birth or postpartum doula: a lot of companies are now adding doulas to their benefits, which I love. We had worked with some individual companies in our areas that have self-funded insurance plans over the years, and we can link to an article about CVS Health that Gold Coast Doulas was fortunate to be part of through the publication The Lily, and it will give you more insight into that. Many companies have added doulas to their benefits, along with Pioneer Construction here in West Michigan who we partnered with.
Some examples of companies are Target, Walmart, PNC Bank most recently. A lot of tech companies have added doulas to their benefits. Sales Force, LinkedIn. There’s also a new fertility benefit called Carrot Fertility, and they offer different incentives for birth and postpartum doulas and include that in company benefit packages. It would be helpful to check with your employer and see if doulas are part of your benefits, and if not, talk to human resources and see if they would be willing to add to the plan or consider Carrot Fertility. Depending again on the benefit package, some benefits are only for birth doulas. Other are for birth and/or postpartum support. I’ve had clients work with Gold Coast and choose to utilize their funds for one service or the other or a mix of both and then self-pay for any funds that aren’t covered.
There are a lot of options compared to when I had my own babies. We’ll see if general insurance down the road does decide to cover doulas. There are some nonprofits and community based programs that also would cover doula benefits, and if they’re grant funded, then maybe a certain portion. Some doulas work in sliding scale plans, so based on income, they may have a reduced rate for birth or postpartum support. You can certainly look into all of those options as you’re trying to budget for birth and baby. But let me tell you, having hired doulas myself before becoming a doula, the investment is worth it, and my husband would certainly agree.
Doulas are worth the investment!
I’d love to hear ideas for you if there was any other way outside of baby shower or gifting or payment plants or packages, how you afforded your birth or postpartum doula. Or if you’re a doula yourself and have a different plan than we do at Gold Coast, reach out to us and let us know what you’re doing. I’m always interested to hear about other options because we know that it is a big investment and that money is tight, but it’s very valuable, especially in my opinion, that newborn care and that postpartum support and getting sleep. Even one good night of sleep can change your life. So reach out to us! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram. We have an amazing Pinterest channel. Find us on YouTube. We’re pretty much everywhere, so reach out and we’d love to hear from you soon about how you plan to budget and pay for your doula.
Take good care!