I had lunch with my son recently. We were discussing fees. He was amazed that doulas in the Atlanta Metro area who had only a dozen or more births of experience were charging fees much higher than mine. We discussed how a jeweler may have a diamond in a special case marked $50k and the jeweler across the street had the same diamond- exactly priced $10k. What is the value in the diamond? It is whatever someone is willing to pay for that diamond. But there is an underlying tone that the higher priced diamond is really better. He challenged me that my fee should be one of the highest since I have been a doula for 24 years and accompanied 660 babies into the world as a doula. But I said my target client could not afford this fee.
That led us to a discussion on who my target client is. I want a well-informed couple…. meaning I want them to take a great childbirth preparation class. I want them to choose a location for their birth and a care provider who offers them options and respect. I want them to be making decisions that will more than likely lead them to a gentle birth. I know that if they were to take the classes we offer they will most likely have a shorter labor and less trauma, if any, at their birth.
The burn out of many doulas is due to having to watch women treated badly at birth by their care providers. The hard part of supporting an uninformed client, one who may not have taken the time to educate themselves on birth, is the difficulty of educating them while in labor. It usually means a longer, more arduous labor and often an outcome they do not desire. It does not serve them, the baby or the doula to have a birth like this.
So this led me to determine that the best way to price my services is in packages. I wanted to keep my class fees separate from my doula fees but wanted to reward my clients for their preparation by lowering my fee based on their preparation. After all, if I truly believe the classes we offer and the beliefs I have on other choices makes their births easier, the fee should be less too. (This is off subject- but for the doulas who are now charging women an hourly rate on top of their base fee if the labor goes over 12 hours, I wonder- are they reducing the fee if the birth is really fast? If it is hourly they want- it seems that is should be turn about fair play.)
Here are my reward packages: all fees include unlimited doula support starting at 38 weeks* until birth- and include all of our regular services per our agreement. *I am fully available for texts, phone calls and emails from the time I am hired and even after the birth.
- If you hire me strictly as a labor doula, taking no classes with our company or any other comprehensive class, the fee is $1190
- If you hire me as your labor doula and take the BOLD Wisdom for Birth Couple’s class or the FUNdamentals classes with Renee or even another comprehensive class elsewhere the fee is $1085. There are a few other non-LOL classes that may qualify as a comprehensive childbirth class. Hospital classes, online classes and hypnosis only based classes do not qualify.
- If you hire me as your labor doula and take the Wisdom for Birth couples’ workshop and the Aligned and Ready class and choose a preferred provider, the fee is $980.
I am rewarding you because it makes my job as your doula one of love and support rather than dodging bullets and having to prepare you while in labor or at a lengthy prenatal which turns into more of a crash childbirth course instead of the time of dreaming about how to make your birth vision a reality. You may have noticed the Aligned and Ready class is in the greatest rewarded discounted offerings. I do this because I believe it is rare to have a malpositioned baby if you take this class- and it is often the malpositioned baby that causes longer labors.
I am sure some folks will not understand this approach. Some will suggest I just combine the class fee into my fee- but since others are teaching some of those classes- not just me- it is difficult to do that. I really see it instead of being a combo discount, I see it as a reward program to you- thanks for doing the preparation that I believe is needed for a gentle birth.
This is just something I offer at this date, although some of the other women with Labor of Love are considering it. Thanks!