question for practicing doulas and CBE's - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-15-2002, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am interested in becoming a doula and would like to know what to expect as far as income is concerned.

How often do you get to work? How much do you charge per birth? Do you live in a big city or rural area? What kinds of things do you do to promote your services? How soon did you earn back the money you invested for semanars and certification?

And for you CBE's, how did you go about advertising your first class series? Did you get a lot of response? How much did you charge per couple for a series? How many couples attended? And again, do you live in a big city or rural area?

My main desire is to help families have good births, but my husband is understandably concerned about compensation for the initial output for semanars, books, test, etc. Since I currently don't work secularly, he will have to foot the bill until I can earn back some money.

I would also like to know if any of you are ICBE certified and if so how did you like their program? How does it compare to ALACE and DONA?
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#2 of 10 Old 08-17-2002, 12:51 AM
 
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As a douala: I attend 1 to 3 births per month. I could have more business if I put more into it. As it stands this is about perfect. I charge $500- that includes two prenatals (more if needed), the birth, and two postpartums. It's a lot of work. I live in a city and have advertised in the phone book, through CBE's, midwives and a doula referal service. Most of my clients come word-of-mouth. The first five or so were the hardes to get. I volunteered at a local recovery home for pregnant mothers to get lots of good experience and build confidence in. And I really beleive the more you put out the more you get back.
As a teacher/mentor, I advertised through midwives and some good doctor's offices. The response is still very, very slow. I suspect it will need to be more word of mouth than anything also - what with hospital classes being free and "highly recommended" by thier doctors...I charge $140 for a six week or weekend series (I teach Birthing From Within), and $90 for individual sessions.
So as for earning back the investment....hmmm. For doula, I did it within 1.5 years (it started out slow and I didn't feel comfortable charging what I charge now until I had about 10 births under me...) and the Birthing From Within has not paid back yet and I have been holding classes two years...with usually two to four couples per class. It's an expensive program, but definately where my heart is.
And I really, truly believe if you build it they will come...no matter how discouraged I am at the moment!

With love,
Lesley
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#3 of 10 Old 08-17-2002, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Lesley! I probably won't earn much until after we move to a bigger city, there's just not enough interest in our area. But as long as I get to do what I love, I'm happy.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-21-2002, 06:57 PM
 
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I just wanted to answer about ALACE. I just sponsered a labor assistant training this past weekend and let me tell you, it was the most amazing weekend. I HIGHLY recommend their program. I read up and compared the other trainings and ALACE's philosophy is very midwifery based and it really spoke to me. I don't know a whole lot about the other programs, but ALACE is wonderful!!

As far as money goes, I have spent very little. I have checked out most of the books from the library and try and buy one here and there on half.com. I sponsered the workshop and attended for free. I plan on attending one birth every 6-8 weeks until my kids get a bit bigger and then we'll see what happens. Doula's in my area charge anywhere from $500-$1000, depending on where they are and how much experience they have.

I also plan on going through ALACE for the CBE. I just haven't bought it yet. Sometimes you can buy one from someone else that wants to sell it. You can contact the main office and ask about that. Go to www.alace.org to get more info. If you have any other questions feel free to send me a message.
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#5 of 10 Old 08-28-2002, 08:03 PM
 
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I did the ICEA educators program, the DONA doula program, and am currently doing the CAPPA lactation program.

Will disassociate myself from ICEA forever, what a group...

DONA is great, but very "soft"
ALACE rocks, but I am not a member

I now teach privately, and get referrals from Ped's as well as MW's. I occasionally run ads in the paper.

At first I taught for the local health dept. so that took care of that.

I charge $120 for my 6 week class, $300 for births $30 per visit for lactation counseling.

I am in a small island community, so get about 4 birth per year as a doula, 6 couples per year for students, and 2 clients per month lactation. Basically, it is a hobby, but one I love!!!
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#6 of 10 Old 09-10-2002, 02:37 PM
 
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I have questions for doulas - do you do home or hospital births, or both? If you do hospital births, have you had to work with clients who wanted Pitocin, episiotomy, epidural, etc. or anything else you thought was a bad idea? Or do people who want doula services generally not want a technocratic birth?
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#7 of 10 Old 09-10-2002, 03:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
I have questions for doulas - do you do home or hospital births, or both? If you do hospital births, have you had to work with clients who wanted Pitocin, episiotomy, epidural, etc. or anything else you thought was a bad idea? Or do people who want doula services generally not want a technocratic birth?
I mostly do out of hospital births. I rarely do hospital births, and when I do the women who really seek me out do not want any of the above.

The number one rule of doula work or any advocacy work, is to remember that it is not our experience, it is hers. We have to support a woman in her choices and work to make them informed ones.

When I first got started and did hospital births, I did have a few women that would hire me and really want all the interventions. Abused women are like this. They want a protector, not a birth experience. That was fine, and I did what needed to be done for the woman, but it is emotionally hard .
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#8 of 10 Old 09-12-2002, 12:29 AM
 
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I had a hospital birth with a doula and it was great. I have often thought becoming one would be spiritually fulfilling, and a good service to those who can't afford it, since I believe in working cheap. What is necessary to get started?
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#9 of 10 Old 09-12-2002, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
What is necessary to get started?
I would start by looking at the different certifying groups. Whether
or not you certify is up to you, but anyone wanting to be a doula
can benefit from the required readings, a workshop, etc.

www.dona.org
www.cappa.net
www.alace.org
www.lamaze-childbirth.org
www.icea.org


I am or have been a member of all of these groups and recommend them in that order



Start with the suggested books ( you can buy cheap on sites like half.com)

volunteer with your friends/ family/crisis homes as a doula

after a few births, decide if it is still your calling and work on becoming official!

Good luck,
Mirine
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#10 of 10 Old 09-12-2002, 04:56 PM
 
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Also, Birthing From Within has recently re-instated thier doula training program.
www.birthpower.com

Be sure to check out each program and go with the one with the philosphy that best meets your own - and also remember you do not have to be 'certified' to be a doula. I highly recommend getting as much education and training as you can though. There is so much to learn.

With love,
Lesley
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