|Clients who paid nothing were more likely to treat the doula as their friend/slave
I haven't had this problem. The people who I work for cannot afford $25 dollars, in general. I just had to arrange transport home for a woman because she couldnt afford a cab and had no one to transport her. However fortunately my organization is starting to have the funds to basically reimburse our expenses.
However the only clients who receive free services for me live off food stamps, mostly in shelters, or subsidized housing. I dont work on a sliding scale just because I do all of these free births. I would be interested in doing a 'sponsor a mum' fundraising type thing, where other clients could pay for another womans care.
Anyways as for the problem mentioned above, I am just as professional with my volunteer clients, and am sure to lay out the same guidelines as I do for non volunteer clients. Generally volunteer clients are more high maintenance, but that is generally because they are alone, they are poor, they are new to the country, they dont speak much english, etc. I have never felt like an unpaid client has taken advantage of me, I find they appreciate my services that much more because so few of them have had that special kind of care that a doula provides.