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<p>Hey everyone!</p>
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<p>I may not post much, but I have been keeping up with the board!</p>
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<p>Anyway, I was wondering thoughts on hiring a doula who is in training.  I simply cannot afford a fully certified, experienced doula.  There are not many around here, and the ones that are, have a rate of $600-1000+ (with certs and hundreds of birth experiences).  </p>
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<p>While I know they would be totally worth the cost, we just don't have the money.  I am the primary income and am taking an extended maternity leave because I emotionally cannot handle putting a 6wk old in daycare, especially when nursing is just getting established at that point.  So, we will be essentially without income for 4 months and have very little savings.  (my husband was laid off and now works for minimum wage, which, in the scheme of things, doesn't add up to much...though we are thankful that he at least as a job)</p>
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<p>I contacted one of these doulas, who I really liked, and she referred me to a trainee she has.  </p>
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<p>I called this trainee, she has been working under the doula for several months and has shadowed some births, but never has "flown solo" at a birth.  She has also birthed her own 2 children at the holistic birthing center I will be going to as well as had water births (which I am planning on), and knows/uses the midwife that I use.  Personality wise, I really liked her...a lot.  I am not a big conversationalist (read: introvert!), especially with people I have never met before, but I was able to talk to her with ease for a long time.  </p>
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<p>I would have hired her on the spot, but then she told me her rate.  She said the going rate for someone training under this doula is around 400-450 (depending on number of visits before birth).  She will also stay for 2 hours after birth to help support breast feeding, or whatever else I may need.  My husband and I have been trying to figure out how to make this work.  </p>
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<p>Does that sound like a reasonable amount?   She is training under one of the "Cream of the Crop" doulas and will be utilizing her techniques.  Any other considerations for hiring a doula in training?</p>
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<p>Thanks mamas!</p>
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<p>I don't know.  Those rates are much higher than my (very limited) experience.  I've hired an incredibly experienced doula (15-20 years) who is DONA certified and we're paying $600.  The rates for a certified doula with somewhat less experience was $400.  Based just on that pay scale, I would expect to pay $200 for a trainee as I would want to pay them for their time but I'd also be aware that she needed hours as part of her training.</p>
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<p>Take all of that with a grain of salt though.  My knowledge and experience are really limited.  One other thing though, when I began researching doulas I saw that one of the tenets of DONA was that they want to make care available to everyone.  The rates you are being quoted don't seem in sync with that philosophy. </p>
 

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Those rates are exhorbitanant. Have you thought about posting in Finding Your Tribes (Ohio section) to see about other options? Have you seen this resource for Doulas in your area?<br>
<a href="http://www.doulaneo.com/biography/biography.html" target="_blank">http://www.doulaneo.com/biography/biography.html</a>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Adaline'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/t/1336688/doulas-in-training#post_16754803"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Those rates are exhorbitanant. Have you thought about posting in Finding Your Tribes (Ohio section) to see about other options? Have you seen this resource for Doulas in your area?<br>
<a href="http://www.doulaneo.com/biography/biography.html" target="_blank">http://www.doulaneo.com/biography/biography.html</a></div>
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<br><br><p>I disagree, it really depends on where you are for how much doulas charge. The cost of living could be higher which causes a doula to charge more. Here in Seattle doulas rates range from $1000-$2000 + per birth, and get tons of clients. <strong>It really depends on where you live.</strong> My thoughts and plans on this is when I'm a doula in training (which per DONA is only for the first 3 births), I will charge half of what I would plan to charge once I'm certified, so $400-$500. That means once I'm certified, I'll start off charging $800-$1000 in the Seattle area. Since I'm moving to San Diego, I will need to rethink my fees. The demographic of the area I would be serving here in Seattle is middle to upper class. I would have a sliding scale for those that need it, as well as work pro bono a certain number of times a year.</p>
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<p>A few things to think about when a doula sets her fees is if she's the sole provider in her household: Can I survive charging this rate? If I was single I would be paying out of pocket for all my health needs or pay a higher monthly premium for private health insurance. Many questions that depend on your area's cost of living. Sorry for the rant but most doulas put a lot of thought and research into what to charge and it entirely depends of the cost of living in an area, which varies so much.</p>
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<p>Not all doulas have this to think about, and some do it as a volunteer basis only, but many need to make a living. doulamatch.net is a great resource for finding doulas in training, those willing to do pro bono, and those who volunteer their services. You can search by zip code and a few other parameters.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1336688/doulas-in-training#post_16755303" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kaydove</strong> <a href="/community/t/1336688/doulas-in-training#post_16755303"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><p>I disagree, it really depends on where you are for how much doulas charge. The cost of living could be higher which causes a doula to charge more. Here in Seattle doulas rates range from $1000-$2000 + per birth, and get tons of clients. <strong>It really depends on where you live.</strong> My thoughts and plans on this is when I'm a doula in training (which per DONA is only for the first 3 births), I will charge half of what I would plan to charge once I'm certified, so $400-$500. That means once I'm certified, I'll start off charging $800-$1000 in the Seattle area. Since I'm moving to San Diego, I will need to rethink my fees. The demographic of the area I would be serving here in Seattle is middle to upper class. I would have a sliding scale for those that need it, as well as work pro bono a certain number of times a year.</p>
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<p>A few things to think about when a doula sets her fees is if she's the sole provider in her household: Can I survive charging this rate? If I was single I would be paying out of pocket for all my health needs or pay a higher monthly premium for private health insurance. Many questions that depend on your area's cost of living. Sorry for the rant but most doulas put a lot of thought and research into what to charge and it entirely depends of the cost of living in an area, which varies so much.</p>
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<p>Not all doulas have this to think about, and some do it as a volunteer basis only, but many need to make a living. doulamatch.net is a great resource for finding doulas in training, those willing to do pro bono, and those who volunteer their services. You can search by zip code and a few other parameters.</p>
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If her location is correct, she lives in NE ohio, which isnt really any higher COL than where I live. My parents live in Warren and their neighbor was able to hire a doula in the $400-500 range, which is about the going rate here too. While the COL is WAY higher on the west coast, and I can totally understand why doulas charge what they do, NE Ohio is typically a pretty low-income level and the COL isnt that high. I think the rates that the OP have been quoted are way higher than they should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thanks everyone for weighing in.</p>
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<p>This is where I stand... on Doulamatch.net, all but 2 doulas are greater than an hour away, which takes them out of the running.  1 is just a hair under an hour away, but has no experience at the place where I will deliver and charges $350.  The other doula that is nearby charges $600 and may have some experience at the place where I will deliver (I would need to clarify that with her).</p>
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<p>So...I have 3 choices, kind of:  </p>
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<p>1.  The doula in training, who charges around $375-450 depending on a few factors, but also knows my midwife and has birthed twice in the same birthing center that I will be going to.  She also has used hypnobabies, which I will be using.</p>
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<p>2. <span style="text-decoration:line-through;"> The doula who is close by, who charges $600 and does not use hypnobabies (uses hypnobirthing).  She may have experience at the place where I will deliver.  </span>Her fee really makes her not an option, so essentially she's not in the running</p>
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<p>3.  The doula who is literally a hair under an hour away and charges $350 and has never stepped foot in the place where I will give birth, but has more birth experience than #1 by 8ish births.  She has not finished her certification (but does that really mean anything??).  I have not spoken directly to her, just her website and email, but she seems to have similar birth/family values.  </p>
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<p>With my limited research, it would seem that experienced doulas in the Cleveland area are running in the $600-800 range, those on the outskirts are charging around $350-450.  If there are other doulas, I sure can't find them.  </p>
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<p>EDIT & Update:</p>
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<p>One of the doulas who usually travels within a 50 mile radius, is going to take me on, even though I am 60+ (highway) miles away.  I spoke with her on the phone, and she reduced her rate from $500ish to $350 as long as I pay in advance of the birth (signed agreement for services).  I met with her in person and she was a match for me!  She is certified by DONA, has water birth training, has about 25 birth experiences.  She was trained by one of the "cream of the crop" doulas from near me.  I knew within saying "hello" at our meeting that she was for me.  I am so glad everything worked out.  </p>
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