Skip to main content

Is a postpartum doula really necessary?

Giving birth to your precious little human is one of the most amazing and tiring experiences of your life. You get home and then what? Where’s the instruction manual that’s supposed to come with the child? Well, you can have one in the form of a postpartum doula.

No matter what kind of birth you have, a postpartum doula can be a fantastic addition to your at-home care and recovery. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first bundle of joy or fifth — a postpartum doula can blend into your routine however you need them to. We can help you figure out if a postpartum doula will work for your family.

A mother holding her new born baby.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The basics of a postpartum doula

Not all doulas are trained in postpartum care. A birth doula is there for the pregnancy and birth, but a postpartum doula is a bit different.

What is a postpartum doula?

A postpartum doula is there for emotional, physical, and informational support during the recovery process after having a baby. If you’re thinking assistant to the manager (that’s you), then you’re on the right track.

How much do postpartum doulas charge?

This one is a bit tricky to answer, as it varies by state and according to the amount of experience the doula has. You will have to research your state to find the exact price.

Cost ranges

  • Starting rates between $500 to $800
  • More experienced ones can cost up to $2,500 to $3,000 (and higher)
  • Doulas still getting their certificate can start at $20 per hour

Does insurance cover a postpartum doula?

  • Depends on your insurance
  • Not all costs will be covered

Coverage varies by your insurance company. Call and ask right away to see if any postpartum doula services are covered. But even if your insurance says yes, you may not be refunded the full amount. Use this detailed explanation by Holistically Loved for insurance reimbursement tips.

How long do postpartum doulas stay?

These are your fourth-trimester companions. For the first six to twelve weeks after you bring your baby home, a postpartum doula is there to help. You can even hire overnight postpartum doulas.

Why you shouldn’t hire a postpartum doula

Let’s go over some of the main reasons you might not want a postpartum doula by your side when you bring your baby home. Or why you think you don’t want one.

The cost

With or without insurance, the additional cost of having a postpartum doula may not fit your budget. But having a baby is expensive no matter what isn’t it?

You have no idea what a postpartum doula is

Have you even heard of a postpartum doula? Maybe you only knew about doulas that help with the birth.

It’s your second (or third or fourth) kid

You’re an old pro and don’t think having the extra support is worth it. That’s reasonable.

You just don’t want one

You’re the parent. If that means no doula, then that means no doula.

You feel guilty

That mom guilt can be a powerful thing. Thinking you have to do it all on your own can stop you from looking into getting a postpartum doula.

An adorable newborn baby sleeping with their arms above their head.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you would want to hire a postpartum doula

There are many benefits to having a postpartum doula with you in those first weeks of bringing home a baby. Let’s go over the highlights.

You want to sleep

You can take a nap anytime you need to and if the baby cries, the doula can oversee things.

There are other little humans in the house

If there are siblings involved, trying to divide your time can be impossible. You can let the postpartum doula either take on the siblings or take on the baby so no one lacks attention.

Light housework/laundry/chores

The moment you have a child in the house, all of the housework seems to be three weeks behind. Your postpartum doula can help keep the house tidy.

Other great reasons to have a postpartum doula

  • Time to run errands
  • Breastfeeding support (or feeding in general)
  • Can help with meals/meal prep

New moms with a postpartum doula also

  • Have lower anxiety
  • Have less stress
  • Have a lower rate of postpartum depression (or less intense symptoms)
  • Sleep better (and the baby does, too)
  • Are more secure and confident in their parenting decisions

How to pick a postpartum doula

Always do your research. This person will be in your house, around your family, and in your life.

  • Check references
  • Do interviews — ask what duties they’re comfortable with doing and not doing
  • Check credentials and certifications
  • Know all costs – pay by the hour or for the duration wanted and get it in print

This person will provide assistance and support. They should help – not make you feel even crazier after having a baby.

A smiling newborn baby in front of smiling parents.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Is a postpartum doula for you?

If you can afford it, a postpartum doula can be a huge help. Especially if you happen to tick a few boxes.

A postpartum doula would be beneficial if:

  • You don’t have friends and family nearby
  • Your partner can’t take time off work
  • You have other kids to take care of
  • You’re scared and unsure about caring for your first (or any) baby
  • You’re prone to stress, anxiety, or depression
  • You just want a support person on your side no matter what

So, is a postpartum doula worth it? If you have the financial means, find an experienced one, and want additional support, then yes — it can be absolutely worth it. Adjusting to the new, tiny, screaming, beautiful creature you just brought home can be a bit much. If you have the right postpartum doula with you, you can feel like your head is on a little straighter and enjoy those cries instead of wanting to join in with them.

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
9 incredible home remedies for colds during pregnancy that actually work
Grandma's chicken soup and other home remedies for colds during pregnancy
A pregnant woman blowing her nose with a cold.

When you feel a cold coming on the first thing you normally do is reach for medicines to treat the symptoms like ibuprofen for achiness and Sudafed for stuffiness or an all-around cold med like Dayquil. When you're pregnant though getting a cold isn't a regular occurrence anymore. Those over-the-counter cold medications in the cabinet aren't necessarily safe to take when you're pregnant.

Many obstetricians also don't recommend taking OTC cold medicine during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when key developments are taking place with baby. So, what is a mom-to-be supposed to do when she can feel a cold coming on like a freight train? Chicken soup?

Read more
Glass vs. plastic baby bottles: Here’s what doctors have to say
This is a hot topic, especially with new parents trying to decide which way to go
A cluster of different baby bottles in a bowl

Once a baby is born, a parent's perspective drastically changes. A parent's view of the world switches fairly quickly, with the primary goal being the baby's safety. Even something as seemingly simple as choosing the type of bottle to use becomes an important decision. Glass vs. plastic baby bottles: Which is a healthier choice?

A baby's bottle is a vital purchase, and it's certainly worth exploring all the factors when it comes to glass or plastic baby bottles for health, convenience, and cost concerns. There are trade-offs to consider with each. So, here's what parents need to know when it comes to glass vs. plastic baby bottles.

Read more
Having pregnancy cramping at 19 weeks? We can help you deal with it
Here's what cramping during pregnancy can mean
Pregnant woman on couch experiencing cramps

Pregnancy is such a wonderful and exciting time of a person's life, but it isn't without its drawbacks. Pregnancy comes with exhaustion, a constant need to pee, odd cravings, mood swings, and a constantly growing belly. Amid all of that, sometimes you have to deal with pregnancy pain as well. One thing you may not be expecting, however, is cramping. Cramps are a common contraction of muscles many women experience during their menstrual cycle in their lower abdomen. It's also a symptom commonly associated with miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Are you 19 weeks pregnant and cramping? If so, you may be confused, because that's probably not something you'd thought you'd be feeling, especially in the second trimester. Of course, you may immediately worry that the cramping is a symptom of something wrong with the pregnancy, but actually cramping at around 19 weeks can be completely common.

Read more