One of the services offered here at Woman to Woman is Extended Postpartum Doula Care (EPPC). But what exactly does that mean?
Extended Postpartum Care is a service that is available to all doula clients. For $20 a month (less than the cost of a doctor visit) or $200 a year (two months free), the doula is available for you to ask questions and get experienced answers. Is this teething or should I take him to the doctor? How do I introduce solids? What can I do for this diaper rash? Should I be concerned that my daughter isn't rolling/crawling/sitting up/walking yet? What are parenting options besides spanking and/or time out? Where else can I turn for support in my community?
Often parents (especially new parents) struggle with the care of an infant through his/her first year. EPPC seeks to give you a place to turn for information and resources. You know that your doula has your best interest at heart; she walked you through labor and the immediate postpartum period, giving you information and all of your options to give you an informed choice. Now let her walk with you for your child's first year as you celebrate milestones, not only for your child but also for you as a parent.
When you first look at a doula's pricing, you might be surprised at how expensive the service seems. Here are some ideas to raise the funds for pay for the support a doula provides:
1.) See if insurance will pay for it. Sometimes insurance will pay for a doula. This varies from provider to provider, but it certainly doesn't hurt to check! Talk to your doula about this option.
2.) Make it a baby shower gift/purchase a gift card. Sometimes long-distance family will want to help with your birth, but won't know what you need. Allow them to pitch in to purchase a doula's services. This is especially a great option for subsequent births - often you feel like you don't really need anything physical (because you've already had a baby, so you already have all the baby things), and this option would still allow for the extended family to participate. You can simply encourage them to take the money they would spend on "stuff" and put it towards your doula's fee.
Some doulas offer gift cards - ask yours! Not every doula does, but that's ok; you can have those wanting to purchase the service for you send you the money and you can apply it to the fee when it's all collected. Alternatively, you can discuss this plan with your doula and see if she's willing to let you pay her as you receive money.
3.) Have a garage/yard sale. Maybe you are decluttering as you're nesting and getting ready for baby. Put all that "stuff" to good use and have a garage sale! Take the money collecting from the sale and apply it towards your doula fee. If a full-on garage sale is too intimidating right now, consider consigning with a local consignment sale or selling items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
4.) Celebrate YOUR birthday. If you have friends/family who like to give you birthday gifts, ask them to donate to your doula fund. You'd be surprised at how many people are interested in doing something like this if you'd only ask.
5.) Use a credit card. Many doulas accept all major credit cards, and some also accept PayPal Credit. Some of these may even offer a no-interest-if-paid-by option. Talk to your doula about payment options.
6.) Use your blow money. Some financial/budget planners encourage people to budget "blow money" - discretionary income to be used however they want. Save up your blow money to cover most or all of your doula's fee.
7.) Work out a payment plan. Many doulas offer payment plans. As a general rule, we want you to have access to our incredibly beneficial services, and we're willing to work with you on payments. Just ask!
8.) Use your HSA account. Many people have a Health Savings Account through insurance. You can use this as a normal credit card with your doula.