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What do you offer (specifically extras) & how much do you charge?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello I'm Brandie & I live in mid-Michigan. I'm trying to get a feel for what other people are offering & what they are charging for when I start charging. I'm in the process of getting DONA certified doing my first couple of births (one done so far!). My first five or six will be free for training. 

 

Right now I offer 3 before birth visits, the first meeting, on-call for the birth of course, and two pp visits. For four of the five home visits I make a healthy lunch and bring it the new mommy. I also do a cutesy little gift basket with wipes, a small package of diapers, & some baby cream & shampoo from a natural health store near by. On my next birth (I have already done the first two home visits with her) I am going to do my first placenta encapsulation. I have a little bit of training but not much, I know the basics but wont be doing a tincture or anything (thu I hope to learn that soon). I am also a certified massage therapist & a CNA which my last client loved (I didn't realize how much my training would help until it was actually time for the delivery). 

 

So how much would I charge for that when I start charging? I have no idea! Their are no other DONA certified/trained doulas in a 30 mile radius of me & only one in a 60 mile radius so I really don't have much to compare it to. The going rate within my 60 mile radius (which is what I travel up to) is between $300-$650 but most of them are not certified.

 

What would or do you charge for:

 

-First meeting with info packet

-3 pre-natal visits

-2 post-natal visits with bf assistance/training

-care basket

-birth

-placenta services (which will most likely be separate) 

-healthy lunches 

 

Sorry if that was long & thanks in advance for help!

post #2 of 15

For:

 

- 3 prenatal visits (initial meeting is one of those)

- labor support

- 1 postpartum visit

- breastfeeding support as needed

 

I charge $600.

 

I do placenta encapsulation and charge $125 for midwife/doula clients and $200 for other people.

post #3 of 15

I charge $550 for the free consult, 2 prenatal meetings, the birth, and 1 postpartum. Of course if a mom is really needing extra support, I'll make extra visits for free. Every now and then I'll run a promotion where I include placenta encapsulation for my doula clients. I normally charge $150 for encapsulation.

post #4 of 15

Hi Everyone,

I just joined mothering.com a few minutes ago because I'm so impressed with the content and the awesome women who have built it and participated in the discussions! The question about how much to charge as a birth doula is one that I have been asked by a couple other doulas who were just starting out. I live in Macomb County (Michigan). Here, the going rate is between $300 and $600. For that past 2 years I have been charging $400, mainly because the economy is suffering. I typically collect half down to secure their due date and the other half 30 days before the anticipated due date. I use an agreement that is written and signed by the parents and myself. This assures them of my reimbursement of half of their payment ($200) if a scheduled C-Section is needed. However, if an emergency C-Section is needed, I will keep the entire fee and remain with the parents until at least 2 hours after the delivery. My services are very similar to the ones you have listed. I will say, however, that currantly I believe that I have the lowest fees of any doula in my area, and I have considered increasing them this year. Good Luck with your journey - it's awesome!!!  Karleen ~ Mommy's Little Helper ~ Doula Care

post #5 of 15

I'm charging $300 for 2 prenatal meetings, the birth & 2 hours afterward, 1 postpartum visit with a meal and baby gift. When I'm done getting certified and have more experience I will raise my rates some.
 

post #6 of 15
Right now, well when I come back from maternity leave, I will be charging 400-500 sliding scale. This includes a free doula date, 2 hour prenatal, being on call two weeks before dd until birth, and one pp visit. This is the low end for this area, which is anywhere from 500-1500. Once I've hit 15-20 births ill boost up again to 600-700. My goal is 1000 a birth, because I don't want to be crazy busy... I want to be able to do free births as well.
post #7 of 15
My current rate is $450, including free consultation, 2 prenatal visits, on-call for 2 weeks prior to EDD through birth, entire birth plus about 2 hours PP, and a postnatal visit (where I generally bring a small gift). This is pretty typical of what people around here offer, AFAIK, and prices here range from about $400-$1200+ - though more expensive doulas are obviously A) more experienced and B) generally offer additional services such as full-body massages.

Just as a note, I am not in favor of the "free births" during training. Offer a discount, make it an awesome deal, but if you go for free, you are literally paying them for attending their birth. If the client pays you, even a little, they cover your basic costs (gas, parking, childcare if necessary), and are also themselves more committed to having you there simply because they had to make a sacrifice to do it.

I love the idea of bringing meals to the moms, but if you're doing it routinely, you absolutely need to build that into your cost and charge more than average.
post #8 of 15
I think it depends on where you live and your skill set, but I charge $850-950 for the same package you offer. I'm in Florida.
I do not give refunds for cesareans. In 10 years, I've only had 2 cesareans and they didn't receive LESS care, but essentially, they received MORE care in the end, so no, they don't get money back. That seems weird to me. My clients are well-educated by me and my partner, so they don't fall for the lies that end up in inductions and other slippery slope interventions. We do birth and postpartum care. I like serving the whole cycle of the childbearing year. It's so great for the mothers to have that continuity.
We collect the whole fee by 36 weeks, unless they are a postpartum client who books us after the baby is born.

Something you might consider is how seriously do you take your business? The public will take you as seriously as you take yourself. The way you carry yourself, in dress, in contract, in website, everything, it will tell people how much you are worth. And doula, let me tell you... You're worth every penny!
post #9 of 15
I do have to say one more thing,,, when doulas undercut each other in price, it devalues ALL the doulas in your area. By raising your rates, it speaks value to your clients. And it also allows other doulas to charge what they are worth, instead of having to compete with you. I also feel strongly now (though this has evolved) that a woman shouldn't be calling herself a doula unless she is truly trained and certified, otherwise you're not doing the mother any good other than being just a friend and taking away from the professionalism of those women who have the integrity to go thru the certification process and finish it.

There are many good programs out there. Any many ways to finance your education. It's not really that much when you consider how much $ you will make after... No excuses. Start boosting the birth improvement stats!
post #10 of 15

I will not be giving refunds or discounts for c-sections either. I still have to be on call and work for them like any other birth. And the last thing I want to do is give the mom the message that her birth is worth less because it's not a vaginal birth. :)
 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulatwinners View Post

 I also feel strongly now (though this has evolved) that a woman shouldn't be calling herself a doula unless she is truly trained and certified, otherwise you're not doing the mother any good other than being just a friend and taking away from the professionalism of those women who have the integrity to go thru the certification process and finish it.

There are many good programs out there. Any many ways to finance your education. It's not really that much when you consider how much $ you will make after... No excuses. Start boosting the birth improvement stats!

 

The studies that were done on doula support were done with either supportive untrained women or women with minimal training, no certifications. The benefit comes from having a supportive women supporting the laboring woman.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
@doulatwinners - the women I am doing my free training for (or girls you could even call them as most are under 20) seriously cannot afford a penny to pay me and the lunches I prepare them are probably the only well balanced meals they get. I'm sure in pretty shiney well-to-do cities charging for basics like gas for trainings is great. I work in grittier places than that with young girls who can barely support their babies. Even after I start charging I am still ganna do "freebies" for women like this. This is something I do because I am passionate about it not cause I need the money, obviously since I do pay a lot of out of pocket costs that is not the case.
post #13 of 15
The best thing you could do for those moms is begin sending claims in on their Medicaid insurance, so that you will get paid something and they get the car they need. It also helps future mothers to get services they need that they could otherwise not get... Kudos to you for caring for moms, regardless of their ability to pay. I do a number of volunteer families each year as well, and often find they bless me more than I think I might bless them. smile.gif
post #14 of 15

twinners, Have you been able to successfully bill Medicaid?

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks twinners! But I have never heard of state insurance paying anything for doulas. How would I go about doing that?
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