Why Are Doulas So Dang Expensive?!

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As we head into an insanely busy year four for our agency, I’ve had time to reflect on this biz from a financial perspective (please don’t fall asleep, it’s going to get juicier, I promise!). I’ve already had someone inquire into our services only to reply with an expletive-filled rant about how outrageous the cost of doulas are (I know January was hard, but please seek out some sunshine, sir). And, I’ve had past clients and business mentors tell us that we aren’t charging nearly enough. Talk about confusing feedback!  Regardless, we are wholeheartedly committed to providing a quality of service that exceeds your investment in us. So why do we charge what we do for this work? Here’s our shortlist of reasons why we’re worth the Ben Franklins:

The doula lifestyle

Our birth doulas live an on-call lifestyle. We all know that labor and birth happens when it happens, and labor often starts in the middle of the night. Sometimes labor starts on our wedding anniversary (our wonderful Doula Sarah missed her 15th), or the day of our kid’s birthday party, or even Christmas. Because we love what we do, we often make huge sacrifices in our personal lives to make sure we are wholly present for one of the most significant days of your life.

Our postpartum doulas live an unpredictable lifestyle, switching from nocturnal nurturers to daytime doulas at the flip of a switch. You can get the much-needed and deserved sleep, day or night, with the comfort knowing you have a seasoned professional caring for and doting on your new baby. You can recover from birth with the support of someone who can fold that laundry mountain, put the dishes away, give some attention to an older sibling or a fur baby, and make you a nutritious snack, day OR night. We are there ANY time you need us.

Expertise ain’t cheap

Between the nine doulas on the CLEbaby team, we have over 35 trainings under our belt, varying from doula support, CPR/First Aid, newborn care, bereavement support, baby sign language, caring for multiples, infant sleep, bottle feeding and breastfeeding, lip & tongue ties, and much more.

We are constantly striving towards being the best, and know the importance of keeping up with the current research, trainings, and trends – and that comes at a (sometimes hefty) cost. And not to toot our own horns, but we were voted as one of the Best Doula Agencies in Cleveland by Expertise for the second year in a row (okay, maybe just a little horn tooting…toot toot!).

It’s a significant life milestone – hire the best!

Having a baby is a HUGE DEAL! And it’s an important day that you want to reflect positively on. Why wouldn’t you want the best experience you can have?

Sure, there are plenty of low-cost doulas that you can hire to support you. I’m sure there are even great ones somewhere out there. But there are also doulas that will be unresponsive to calls & emails during pregnancy, don’t value training and education and work with outdated research and resources, doulas that challenge medical professionals and work outside their scope, and even ones that won’t show up when your big day comes (it happens - we've heard the horror stories!). What’s their incentive to provide support at your 36-hour labor if they’re getting paid $5/hour?

At CLEbaby, we do this because we truly LOVE supporting women and their growing families, but we also love supporting OUR own families! And like many other things in life, you get what you pay for.

Bills, bills, bills

Because doula work is our profession and not our hobby, we have all of the expenses of any small business. We are a fully insured LLC. We take part in paid local networking events. Our branding and marketing materials are on point. Remember that when you’re paying a fee for a small, local service business, you aren’t just putting $$ in our pockets so we can swim in a pool of it, Scrooge McDuck-style; you’re helping us with printing expenses, to pay our utilities, to be present at events in the community, to pay our accountant and attorney, to expand our marketing and networking opportunities…

The proof is in the pudding

We are always flattered and humbled by the kind words from our happy clients. But we also believe they are a reflection of an extraordinary, supportive service that happens at one of the most difficult and beautiful times for a growing family. We know we’re worth it! And we know you’ll feel the same once you’ve experienced our doula support. Check out some of our client testimonials here and here.