Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy
I totally agree. I have been a certified doula for 6 years & get so irked when a brand new doula starts off her fees with what I charge. They may have the passion, but they don't have the experience to back it up. I bumped up my fee similar to the above schedule. I'm in the DFW area & the most I have ever seen was $800 for just a birth doula.
Just an idea, but maybe if brand new doulas in your area are charging and GETTING the same fee as you, perhaps it's time for you to raise your fee?
Also, as in any job where you start out at a certain rate and move up yearly or so, I think it's fair to charge 10-25% less for new doulas and then raise their fees as they gain experience and/or additional skills/certifications.
For example, a friend of mine started a good job at $14 per hour and is now making $20 per hour, 4 years later. He certainly does MORE work MORE efficiently now, after 4 years on the job, so I think the compensation is fair too.
So if an experienced doula is charging $1000 in her area, I think charging $750 - $850 is a good deal for a new doula. She will get clients who may not want to pay the $1000 fee, but she will also get more of the bargain hunters that the experienced doula has learned how to weed out. For those who prefer or really need an experienced doula, they will find a way to pay the extra fee.
Asking a new doula to NOT charge ANYTHING? for her services sounds absurd!!! I never NOT charged a fee when I started, except for the friends births I attended where I discovered my passion for birth and women and this work.
Getting paid less for less experience just holds true in almost ANY job. Interns who work for free are usually in school and "have" to work for free to break into the industry. If a new doula chooses to attend births with an experienced doula and is learning, and not being paid, I would think that would be fair. If a new doula is doing all the work, she deserves to be paid for her time!!! If she values her time at $5 per hour or $40 per hour, it's up to her, of course, but I will maintain that most women in this and many other industries still undervalue themselves.
Women still make, on average, $.70 for every DOLLAR that a MAN makes in THE SAME JOB!
I think it all works out well when doulas respect each other and work together and communicate. Conversely, things can become uncomfortable and downright "bad" when doulas purposely undercut, trash-talk, undermine, etc.... we all need to act professionally and present the profession in the best light possible.