How much do you charge for your doula services? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 07-22-2009, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Jen that was a great post! My husband gets very miffed that as a student doula at the local midwives practice I get NOTHING until I am 'certified'. Half of our births on average are shadowing a certified doula/midwife, the others are with another student. ( In no paricular order) I know it is hard for him being the current sole bread winner and money IS tight and I have spent over 300 dollars in gas in the past month going to prenatals, birthes, post pardum, all things I have to do and gladly do since I LOVE this work, but that is ALOT of money, alot. Part of me agrees with the free factor but then again I think if we got 250, that is still a bargain, and it can cover gas at least, that is all I need covered right now. I do this because I love it and want to be a midwife one day. I hope we don't go bankrupt from the gas as a student! I would hate to stop because we can't afford the gas!
I had this issue with the gas. I was losing money driving around for consultations. I ended up charging a consultation fee that is non refundable to cover gas and any information I might give them at the consult. IF they end up hiring me they can apply that fee to the remaining balance. You might want to do something similar for your prenatal visits, you clients will still be getting a great deal and you wont be going broke.


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#32 of 42 Old 07-22-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by organicpapayamama View Post
I had this issue with the gas. I was losing money driving around for consultations. I ended up charging a consultation fee that is non refundable to cover gas and any information I might give them at the consult. IF they end up hiring me they can apply that fee to the remaining balance. You might want to do something similar for your prenatal visits, you clients will still be getting a great deal and you wont be going broke.
I am done driving for consultations. It gets expensive and takes up a lot of my time. I now have them come to me. It makes it not a big deal then, I spend 30 minutes or so chatting with them, and then get on with my day. Compared with driving an hour one way to do a consult and feeling an entire afternoon is gone.

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#33 of 42 Old 07-22-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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i am in total agreement with tlc. i have been a pp doula for 16 years and have been going to births for about 7 years. i feel that if we want to be taken serious in our profession we have to charge and need to stay competive. i don't think it's a great message when one doula is charging $400 and another $1200. i have always encouraged new doulas in my area to up their rates and stay competitve. it's up to the clients to ask how long you have been a doula, what is your experience, etc. then they can decide if they want to hire you or not. most people that have hired me never even asked if i was certified, they hired me because we clicked and they liked my energy. i think as doulas every birth is a learning experience and you can go to hundreds of births and still have something to learn.

in my area the average rate for birth doulas range from $800 to 1200. we charge $1050 and offer a sliding scale, going as low as $600. if someone reallly wants a doula they will figure out a way to get the money. how many times will you go for a professional service that you want and try to get it for less money? if a lawyer says $150 an hour you are going to pay it! for pp we charge $30 an hour and if it's really far $35.

i also don't think that being certified should be a factor in how much you charge. i am not certified as a pp doula, but have tons of experience. i chose not to be certified for many years after my alace training, but 2 years ago, decided to get certified. it doesn't make me a better doula. i feel that i provide a service and should get paid for it. a meeting with a local small business consultant said that when you charge less than everyone else, potential clients think that maybe your work is inferior. i have taken her advice. we need to feel good about getting paid for what we do and we deserve to get conpensated well for it. it's sometimes very hard work!

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#34 of 42 Old 07-23-2009, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am in total agreement with tlc. i have been a pp doula for 16 years and have been going to births for about 7 years. i feel that if we want to be taken serious in our profession we have to charge and need to stay competive. i don't think it's a great message when one doula is charging $400 and another $1200. i have always encouraged new doulas in my area to up their rates and stay competitve. it's up to the clients to ask how long you have been a doula, what is your experience, etc. then they can decide if they want to hire you or not. most people that have hired me never even asked if i was certified, they hired me because we clicked and they liked my energy. i think as doulas every birth is a learning experience and you can go to hundreds of births and still have something to learn.

in my area the average rate for birth doulas range from $800 to 1200. we charge $1050 and offer a sliding scale, going as low as $600. if someone reallly wants a doula they will figure out a way to get the money. how many times will you go for a professional service that you want and try to get it for less money? if a lawyer says $150 an hour you are going to pay it! for pp we charge $30 an hour and if it's really far $35.

i also don't think that being certified should be a factor in how much you charge. i am not certified as a pp doula, but have tons of experience. i chose not to be certified for many years after my alace training, but 2 years ago, decided to get certified. it doesn't make me a better doula. i feel that i provide a service and should get paid for it. a meeting with a local small business consultant said that when you charge less than everyone else, potential clients think that maybe your work is inferior. i have taken her advice. we need to feel good about getting paid for what we do and we deserve to get conpensated well for it. it's sometimes very hard work!
Im going to have to disagree with you on the bolded statement just because I have been there from the consumer standpoint. Although very generally speaking I think your statement is correct, it is not true 100% of the time. And those who dont have as much money as others still deserves to be supported and not be alone for the birth of their child. I was in a very difficult position when I had my doula. I had just lost my DD almost exactly a year before, she was stillborn, then my dh left me. And then wouldnt you know it the company I worked for went bankrupt and I was left unemployed and no one wanted to hire me because I was pregnant. Money was a HUGE issue. I could not afford a doula who was even asking just $200.00. Money was THAT bad. I had no one to borrow off of or anything. By the grace of God I found my doula who had plenty of experience and was willing to help me out of the goodness of her heart because of my dire circumstances. Now I know not everyone out there is going to be in such a tight spot but I did want to remind everyone that especially in this economy stories like this are more and more common. So to say if they really want a doula they will come up with the money is not really a fair statement. I have paid it forward as well and assisted women in dire situations who especially need more support because they are going through a crisis like this. Just putting my two cents out there.


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#35 of 42 Old 07-23-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Im going to have to disagree with you on the bolded statement just because I have been there from the consumer standpoint. Although very generally speaking I think your statement is correct, it is not true 100% of the time. And those who dont have as much money as others still deserves to be supported and not be alone for the birth of their child. I was in a very difficult position when I had my doula. I had just lost my DD almost exactly a year before, she was stillborn, then my dh left me. And then wouldnt you know it the company I worked for went bankrupt and I was left unemployed and no one wanted to hire me because I was pregnant. Money was a HUGE issue. I could not afford a doula who was even asking just $200.00. Money was THAT bad. I had no one to borrow off of or anything. By the grace of God I found my doula who had plenty of experience and was willing to help me out of the goodness of her heart because of my dire circumstances. Now I know not everyone out there is going to be in such a tight spot but I did want to remind everyone that especially in this economy stories like this are more and more common. So to say if they really want a doula they will come up with the money is not really a fair statement. I have paid it forward as well and assisted women in dire situations who especially need more support because they are going through a crisis like this. Just putting my two cents out there.

I guess my statement was more of a generalization, so doulas should not sell themselves short. I have also assisted women that can't pay and that is fine, but should be done on a case to case basis. I am always open to bartering and setting up payment plans. I think it's really important to help other women in need, use your intuition, as some people don't really value things unless they pay for it. thanks for your 2 cents!

labor & postpartum doula, mom to sky & ben
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#36 of 42 Old 07-23-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by organicpapayamama View Post
Im going to have to disagree with you on the bolded statement just because I have been there from the consumer standpoint. Although very generally speaking I think your statement is correct, it is not true 100% of the time. And those who dont have as much money as others still deserves to be supported and not be alone for the birth of their child. I was in a very difficult position when I had my doula. I had just lost my DD almost exactly a year before, she was stillborn, then my dh left me. And then wouldnt you know it the company I worked for went bankrupt and I was left unemployed and no one wanted to hire me because I was pregnant. Money was a HUGE issue. I could not afford a doula who was even asking just $200.00. Money was THAT bad. I had no one to borrow off of or anything. By the grace of God I found my doula who had plenty of experience and was willing to help me out of the goodness of her heart because of my dire circumstances. Now I know not everyone out there is going to be in such a tight spot but I did want to remind everyone that especially in this economy stories like this are more and more common. So to say if they really want a doula they will come up with the money is not really a fair statement. I have paid it forward as well and assisted women in dire situations who especially need more support because they are going through a crisis like this. Just putting my two cents out there.

There will always be heartbreaking circumstances such as yours, and a doula can choose to offer her services for reduced or no fee.
It's unconscionable for clients to expect Doulas to not charge for their services, no matter what the doulas experience level.
It is Doulas that have to change the perception that some doulas are available for free!

It has evolved into a profession of women's work and clients should always expect to pay for our services, and doula should always charge a fee even when they're certifying.

None of the certifying Doula organization require doulas to work for free to get the certifying births. Hospitals or organizations that provide free doulas to their patients are affiliated with a non-profit, which comes with very differnt circumstances for the doula then working with a private labor doula.
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#37 of 42 Old 07-23-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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thanks dewi! very clear!!!

labor & postpartum doula, mom to sky & ben
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#38 of 42 Old 07-24-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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WOW! I live in the Twin Cities, which has the highest doula attended births in America and I think the highest paid doula here only charges 900.00.

Homebirth midwives here charge 3000.00, which is only 1200.00 more than some doulas seem to be charging. Crazy.

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#39 of 42 Old 07-24-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Well, it is crazy, in the sense that costs in general vary wildly. Homebirths here cost about $6000 or $7000, so a doula being $1500 or $2000 makes sense. Rent is also higher, a groceries, and parking, etc

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#40 of 42 Old 07-24-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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Well, it is crazy, in the sense that costs in general vary wildly. Homebirths here cost about $6000 or $7000, so a doula being $1500 or $2000 makes sense. Rent is also higher, a groceries, and parking, etc
Have to say to anyone who has not been in NYC- she is right- I spent 2 days there, and paid over $9 for a pack of cigarettes, Even McDonalds was more!

(sorry, I just admitted to smoking and eating McD's on vacation, I must be tired! )

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#41 of 42 Old 07-25-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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(sorry, I just admitted to smoking and eating McD's on vacation, I must be tired! )

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#42 of 42 Old 07-25-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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I'm going to be the lone voice of dissent here. I think $250 for a doula who is attending her first three births is TOTALLY appropriate. Maybe each time you attend 2-3 more births, you can raise your rate by $50-$100. I strongly believe that a brand new doula who is not certified accepts this as part of the entry into the profession. In my experience there really is a big difference between brand new doulas and long-term experienced doulas, and it is greedy to start charging on the same scale as the experienced doulas right off the bat. You have to earn your creds!

On the other hand, I do understand that no matter your experience level, you are still providing the services and deserve to be compensated for them. For example, I would never recommend that a new doula offers her service for free, just because she is new. She still does the work!

My current fee is $1000, in an area where the range for experienced doulas is $800-$1200. Since I can't do the more advanced things like fht's and VE's, I feel like I am right where I should be. Some births make me feel like I'm not getting paid enough, while others seem like such a breeze and I feel guilty about being paid so much! I started offering services at $300, and every 10 births or so, moved up to $500, then $700, then $850, and for the past 7 months I've been at $1000 and do not intend on raising it unless I start training as a midwife.
If you are a doula, and opperating under a scope of practice doulas do not do ve's or fht...so this shouldn't affect your pricing at all.

Cortney Mama to Lyra 1-20-08 and future midwife through Birthingway College of Midwifery
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