Kitsap doula, doula, pregnant

Photo courtesy Creative Commons, Flickr user: Thomas Pompernigg

You already know that you want a doula, but it’s an out-of-pocket expense for your family that may seem out of reach.  You know your birth is a once-in-a-lifetime event and having a doula can be a crucial part of creating a positive birth experience, so you are motivated to find a doula to support you. I want to share with you some ways that can make having a doula a reality – even on a very tight budget! It comes down to being motivated and creative and willing to think outside of the box.

1.  Start a campaign.  Use social media creatively along with a crowd-sourced campaign (like “Go Fund Me”).

I have seen women have great luck with these types of campaigns. You can create an account and then share with family & friends and ask for contributions. But don’t just post a link, get creative with how you share and ask for contributions. You could use Instagram to post progress pics of your baby bump with a link to your campaign. Ask for a bigger contribution in exchange for something like a “Be one of the FIRST baby holders!” certificate. Break your goal up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. The package price you want is $600, so let your supporters know that you just need 30 of them to give $20 each. Doesn’t that seem more doable than asking for $600??

When you post your campaign, share the reasons why you want a doula. Are you a first time mom who really wants lots of support? Maybe you had a previous birth that was challenging and you’d like this birth to be different. Maybe your goal is a VBAC. Share those reasons and explain what a doula does – many people don’t fully understand. Your family & friends want you and baby to be happy and healthy. Sharing from your heart instead of just posting a link that asks for money will help them connect with your reasons for wanting a doula and will hopefully motivate them to give generously to your campaign.

2.  Sell some stuff.

I could probably walk around my house right this minute and find at least 5 things that I don’t need or use regularly and I bet you could too.   If you could find just 5 things that you could let go of, and sell them for $20 each, that’s $100 towards your doula! Do you have clothes you don’t wear? Baby items for a girl and you just found out you’re expecting a boy? How about tools or household items that just sit and collect dust? Grab your camera, snap some pics and head to craigslist or ebay. You might be surprised how much cash you could add to your doula fund by rounding up some unused items in your home!

3. Barter with goods or services.

You need a doula; what does your doula need? Haircuts, housecleaning, massage, car repairs, tattoo work – these are all things that I would happily barter with a client for.   If you have your own small business or are trained to offer these kinds of services, maybe the list I just suggested would work great for you. If you don’t have a small business or professional services to offer, what can you offer? Are you making some freezer meals for your family for after the baby comes? Maybe your doula would like to have a stash of meals in the freezer for her family (I know I would!). Maybe you have things like fresh produce or homemade jam or amazing jewelry or art that you make. Things like window washing, painting or minor home repairs could possibly be offered by your partner as well.