Category Archives: Blog

5 Ways to Pay for a Midwife (or Doula)

Image by kizzzbeth

By Nina, Modern Alternative Pregnancy Editor

Today’s Daily Tip: Never give up, no matter what!  Life will change, you will have bad days, and you will have to constantly adjust.  That will never stop.  Keep going for your goals as long as they make sense!

A frustrating truth in America is that many insurance companies will not cover the cost of a doula or midwife. While some have to fight tooth and nail for a company to pay for a safe, normal birth at home with a good midwife, that same company won’t bat an eye at a bill for any c-section (necessary or otherwise) and the consequent three-day hospital stay.

Fortunately, there are other ways to pay for your midwife or doula.

What can you expect to pay?

The costs for midwives vary depending on where you live – they’ll be less expensive in Texas than they are in California, just like everything else. Expect to pay around $3,500, which was about $2,000 less than a woman giving birth in the hospital was charged at the hospital I used to work at.

A doula’s cost varies, from around $300 for a doula-in-training who needs to assist some laboring women before she gets her certification, to around $800 for an experienced doula. If she’s a well-known doula in the community and highly-sought after, expect to pay a little bit more. (The same holds true for midwives).

For some, these numbers are no big deal and are absolutely worthwhile costs for such an important event. However, I know that when I was pregnant and finding this out, I thought it would be impossible to have my baby at home because I couldn’t pay for it.

But I did find a way. This was way too important to me to just give up because I didn’t have much money at the time. Where the desire is strong enough, a way will be found.

1. Payment Plans

Many midwives offer payment plans that end with the final bit being paid by 37 weeks. Some may require a certain percentage up front, so this is definitely something you want to find out during the interview process.

You could try working out something similar with a doula by hiring her early on in your pregnancy, rather than waiting until the end of the second, or beginning of the third trimester.

2. A season of sacrifice

Intentionally simplifying your life while pregnant is not only good for you – it allows you to focus on the new baby and enjoy the miracle that it is – but it can also be good for your budget. Deciding to have a “season of sacrifice” where you cut expenses can go a long way toward paying for the care you want.

A few things that you could cut back on gradually until they’re gone:

  • Starbucks (decaf, of course), chai lattes, or other expensive morning drink habits – Take your pregnancy tea to go.
  • Cable or satellite – Save a lot of money by cutting TV completely or switch to Netflix where you can get unlimited instant watching for $7.99 per month.
  • Cell phone – Call and ask for a rate plan anaylisis. You could significantly lower your bill if you’re paying for more than you’re using.
  • Eating out – Try cutting this significantly and eat simple, nourishing food at home.
  • Going to the movies – Rent a movie at redbox or use netflix to have more frequent, cheaper date nights with your husband.

Instead of spending all of your money on these, you can use it to pay for the labor support you want.

Image by frankh

3. Increasing income

I’ve read many times that we use 20% of our possessions 80% of the time. My own experimenting with decluttering has proven this to be true. So what do you do with the 80% that you don’t use? Sell it.

Much of it can be given away, but there are probably numerous items that can be sold. You can hold a yard sale, but expect to get less on the bigger ticket items. There’s always Craigslist – which has its fair share of spam, but is also free. And then there’s good old Ebay. You will pay fees and have to ship your items, but they do give you access to a whole lot of people.

4. Baby Showers/Blessingways

There are a lot of baby shower gifts that will be given to you that you will never use. Or, you’ll use it once and no more (this isn’t just the minimalist in me talking to you, I promise). Rather than asking for the conventional gifts, let people know that you prefer cash to go toward your “amazing birth attendant fund.” If some people feel weird about giving cash, ask your doula or midwife if they offer birth certificates on their websites.

5. Barter

Some doulas and midwives are happy to barter for their services. While you’ll probably still have to pay some money out-of-pocket, you’ll be able to reduce that amount by offering something in exchange for their services.

  • Photography
  • Website design
  • Custom furniture
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Babysitting
  • Coaching (I happily traded my doula services with a friend who offers branding coaching for businesses)
  • Auto repair

There are several possibilities for goods/services that you could trade. If you’re unsure, you can just ask. If they say no, (or yes) employ the other ideas to help you pay for these important birth and pregnancy services.

Are you using a creative way to pay for your doula/midwife?


My First Mayan Vaginal Steam Bath

A healing practice to harness my power to manifest. It reminded my ancient self of all the ways our people healed themselves forward 7 generations and backward 7 generations. Visceral knowing of power, ReClaiming.
Guided by Sara Flores,

  • I picked my herbs with clear intention and thankfulness. Rosemary, Lavender and Sage.
  • I placed them in water with intentions named 9 times. I am water.
  • I remembered the New Moon energy, it was during her extra potent medicine. I made ten wishes.

She brought me a little bowl of dried herbs, Chamomile, Calendula, more I don’t remember. She said to choose how much I need, 2 big pinches. She chose rose petals and the piston of a hibiscus for me.

The water brewed. It steamed and was brought to the toilet and the handles of the pot held it up. Toilet seat down over the pot handles, a towel around the bowl, a towel for my backside and lap, to cover and hold the steam in.
Sara said she prepared it for me the way she likes it, STRONG, because intuitively she knew its how I would want and need it.
Sara lit 3 candles with a red hue, and the blatant meditative message “self-love”. At first I hovered over the steam, felt tension in my thighs and ass, a little afraid of what steam might feel like on my vulva. It was warm, welcoming, nothing difficult to endure. I lowered my self and relaxed into it. The steam enveloped my vulva. I found myself reflecting at the very act of spending time with my self, alone, with candles, and the scent and energy of the herbs. It felt ancient, my cells absorbing the droplets of water into my mucus membranes, my cells carrying on the intentions throughout my system. I felt my vagina willingly letting go of what she no longer needed, felt the sweat drip right off of and out of me, my cellular intelligence perked up, taking in the intentions, and the same time on a conscious anatomical/physiological level noticing:

– circulation increasing in my back/heat flourishing up to my shoulders, tension melting in my back
– movement in my cheeks and entire face, like release tightness and warmth filling my face/rosy cheeks
– i could feel stagnation in my arms, specifically in my right arm where i have an ulnar nerve injury and being able to stretch my hand better.
– I remember feeling the back of my head light up. In the occiput I could feel movement-like cerebro-spinal fluid flowing.
– The most SIGNIFICANT increase in circulation was in my vulva and clitoris, I could feel blood rushing down and around and flooding. I felt my vulva shed numbness, fear, tension and shame. I sensed that I was becoming engorged.
– The next night I had sex and was able to feel the slightest sensation, allowing me to savor every moment, exquisitely feeling pressure, caressing, and energy of love. My tissues were open to RECEIVE love and pleasure, and it was the least scary it’s been, this vulnerability.

On a sexual level, it made me aware of all my interactions with this part of my body, sharing it my partner, lovers, myself, my last painful cycle, self-exam groups, not sharing it with predators yet having it be invaded, etc. I took time to forgive myself for ways in which I hadn’t honored myself, and in the same breath I thanked myself for pursuing my pleasure and delving into exploring every aspect of owning it all. I welcomed nothing but love and pleasure in my vagina from now on. I thanked her for sending me messages along our wild journey together. I thanked Pachamama for allowing me to re-enter my birthright of self-healing, and healing with community.

I thought about how I had first heard of Sara in January 2010 after a long medicine journey I took along the California Coast. A sister of the African diaspora said, You MUST meet Sara. I took it to heart, her emphasis on how I would connect with Sara and that it was a connection that had to be made, for the sake of humanity. I know this sounds over the top in some ways, like really, come on. But for reals, that message kept coming at me for the next 22 months, every where I went; conferences, meetings, events, dear people would say, you HAVE to meet Sara. Entonces, the time came when we connected on Facebook, interchanged via messages so succinctly and met pretty quickly in real life. I gave myself the gift of visiting her in Oakland during my thanksgiving trip with my honey Diem. Little by little, I’m collecting my chosen family.

After my session, I took my bath to the earth and offered it back. Sara stood there with me. We laughed like the brujas we are, relentlessly reclaiming.