Doulas Cannot Be More Invested In Your Birth Than You Are

So I received an inquiry about doula services and pricing.I told her my fees and what my student doulas charge. She said, “Oh. I would only pay $300. That’s all it’s worth to me.”

I’m glad she recognized that is all it’s worth to HER. The fact is, how could a doula have a sustainable career making $300 per birth? It hovers at that you could work at fast food for that much because:

1. You can only take so many births per month, especially if you are a newer doula and haven’t found a backup or are just getting used to life on call. So if a newer doula only takes 2 clients a month, do you really expect her to put her life on call for an entire month, 24/7, for $600?

2. She pays taxes. And buys gas. Does prenatals. Pays for a phone, website, business cards. Babysitting? Oh yeah, if she is a mother of small children she has to have a babysitter. Doulas deserve life insurance, health insurance — all things not usually covered by self employment.

3. She could be at your birth for DAYS. The average birth is somewhere around 15 hours. Then there are prenatals, education, texts, phone calls, providing resources. It is not unusual for me to spend 35 hours with each client.

4. She already invested hundreds or thousands in her training, certification, books for required reading, creating resource lists, supplies (you know how you want her to bring all those magical doula tools? They weren’t free). Some birth DVD’s cost us hundreds of dollars. Proper birth shoes (Danskos, etc) also cost lots of money.

5. She is going to squat for hours, rub your back, provide emotional support, possibly be covered in bodily fluids, not get to brush her teeth or kiss her children good night for you. Happily.

So if that’s all it is worth to you, that’s fine. But it is worth way more to your doula, even a brand new one. She cannot be more invested in your birth than you are.


All Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula, 2014


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