#1- Plan WAY Ahead
Lots of people plan to get pregnant. If this is you, plan your ideal birth team now! Why wait until you get that positive test to start saving for paying for the baby and for your health? Wouldn't it be so much easier (and probably put your mind at ease a bit) if you set aside money a little at a time for when the pregnant time comes?
#2- Give Up that Coffee
I may have lost a few of you on this one, but hear me out: I don't mean give it up completely, I just mean buy good coffee at the grocery and make it at home! That $3 everyday Starbucks habit will add up really quickly, and guess what you can do with that money you save? Even if you go from every day to twice a week, you've saved $150 in 10 weeks!
#3- Ask About Payment Plans
Most Doulas will have the option to not pay full amounts up front. Even if it isn't advertised, monthly payment plans are a great way to get over that feeling of a large lump sum investment all at once. And most people see the idea of even $100 a month as much easier to swallow ($100 a month x 9 months of pregnancy = $900 doula paid for)
#4- Ask For a Doula as a Baby Shower Gift
As the attendee of many baby showers, I can attest to the fact that a lot of times I am totally stumped on what to give as a gift. I always want it to be thoughtful and helpful... If someone ever said "I would like donations to help pay for my doula." as a shower gift, I would probably lay down even more money than on some outfit I know is probably only getting worn once! People want to help you and give you and your baby gifts that they know you will like and really appreciate; What is better than a doula? (Some doulas even have programs set up, so you can give a link to the invited guest and they can make direct donations)
#5- See If Your Doula Needs Anything
Some doulas offer bartering for services: Do you do graphic design work? Does your spouse own a flooring company? Someone in the family a hunter and you have hundreds of pounds of meat in your deep freezer? There's a lot of options for "trading of goods and services" and it never hurts to ask if your doula offers this type of option.
Even if your doula doesn't offer bartering, think about any service you may be able to do for someone to make a little extra money (Lets not get x-rated here now though); Babysitting is a huge one!
#6- Apply for a Rewards Credit Card
Did you know that lots of credit cards these days offer awesome rewards and some have 0% interest for years? From free hotels, to free flights, gift cards, to even cash back; Credit cards these days kinda rock! Use your card to pay for the doula. Not only do you then have the option to pay it off slowly (or if you're like me pay it off as quickly as possible); You also are getting a little something extra from the transaction! And who doesn't love a little something extra?
#7- Sell Your Random Stuff
We all have that stuff sitting around our house that we know we will never use again: an extra bike, that random end table, the brand new pair of shoes that you haven't ever worn after buying them 2 years ago... Sell them! There are hundreds of "garage sale" pages all over the country on FB, Craigslist, local newspapers, or have a garage sale of your own. Not only will it make you some extra money, but who doesn't like feeling like they have less clutter?
Doulas are a luxury,
but if you value the services they provide
and the benefits of having one by your side
it is something you can make happen!
There are so many ways to make sure you have the doula you want and deserve; sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
Good, professional doulas are extremely valuable and should be seen and viewed as a part of your strong birth and postpartum team!
Jessica Anne Dill