Our Calling- Much More Than a Profession
Within the birth the community there is a big surge in conversations about the business of being a birth professional. Often there are a lot of doulas out there who act more like this is a hobby. For a long time birth professionals have more or less given away their services and there are those who feel they can help stop that by some guidance. (Of course they charge a fee to learn these tools.) There is nothing wrong with any of this. There are a lot of birth professionals who give and give and never get anything in return and quickly burn out. That does need to change.
Just as attorneys, business consultants, life coaches and counselors charge by the hour; there is talk that we should too. Some doulas charge a flat fee for up to 12 hours of labor support and then charge hourly thereafter. Hmmm, I think this would cause some women to not call their doulas for guidance in early and mid labor for fear the clock would start charging them. We charge a flat rate.
There are some doulas who only offer prenatals as an option to their services, within a package of services with everything ala carte. We offer one or two prenatals- different doulas offer different options within our company. But we all feel a prenatal is essential to helping us know you, you to know us and how we can help you and how you want us to help you. It will always be a part of our “package.” There are several things we do as doulas without adding things as extras that are additional charges. Prenatals, phone calls, unlimited labor support, meeting you at your home before going to the birth location if it is not your home, photographs, breastfeeding assistance, birth stories, postnatals… it is all within our scope of services.
There are those who feel birth consultations should be something birth professionals should charge for. I was recently criticized for “giving away” phone conversations regarding birth options. If I have time, I will always talk to women about their options for birth. I would gladly discuss with her the offerings in our area and the choices in front of her. Sometimes she goes on to hire one of the Labor of Love doulas or take one of our classes. Sometimes she hears truths she does not like and chooses a different doula. Perhaps one who will not tell her the truth she knows but instead the truth the woman wants to hear. I am sometimes seen as pushy or too brazen with the truth. Perhaps if she was paying me she would see it as be more valuable information. But I am hopeful she may head into her birth with more knowledge and understanding her options more clearly. And that is my motive for taking the time to chat with her without any obligation of outcomes or fees. And for those who call us to get information without hiring us, we still offer information.
We do charge a fair fee for our services. But we do not charge for longer births nor do we discount fast ones. We offer a different level of access to chatting with us as your doula the moment you hire one of us. You continue to have access for questions along the way and even after the birth to help you get off to a great start. It is what we do. It is what we love. We feel we do a great job of offering excellent services.
If you want a relationship with a birth guide, hire one of our doulas. Your support will go far beyond a phone conversation. If you want evidenced based information, consider joining our classes. Our educators love sharing information with you and your partner. If you just want to chat for a while about what is out there to consider, give me a call- no charge- if I am available, I will share my knowledge and give you my time.
It does not mean we do not consider being a birth professional a business- a profession- but it is much deeper- it is our calling. Many of us need to have the income to be able to do this work, but we consider this work our calling and will continue to share information with women who ask for guidance regardless of payment. It is the philosophy of our company and our business model to share, in hopes of helping you have a more gentle birth. We care about birth, women, families and babies. I run a business. We are birth professionals. But it goes far beyond that with our company. We will be blessed by doing so we are sure.