It’s a fair enough question, when you see a fee between $1000 – $2000 it seems astronomical. So I am going to break it down for you.
Your Doula is committed to your care from the moment you hire her, which means she will call you, email, text and visit you. She must make herself available to you when you require, sometimes that means anything between 2 – 5 visits to your home, which can be 1 – 3 hours in length each.
Most Doulas have families of their own, they must pay for childcare/ babysitting for your visits, both antenatal and postnatal, as well as labour and delivery.
You may have a relatively short 6 hour delivery, or you may have a labour that is 24+ hours. Your Doula commits to that time when you sign the contract to engage her services.
Your Doula is on call from 3 weeks before your due date until you deliver. This means that she takes on no other clients, works no other job, has her phone handy, does not organise nights out, trips away, and will be ready to fly out the door at a moments notice.
Your Doula typically will carry massage oils, snacks, labouring aides, and sometimes even sanitary products such as bluey’s, sterile gloves etc. in case of emergencies.
Most Doulas have their preferred work clothes and footwear, I wear scrubs because they are comfortable, easy to move around in, and launder well. We get many a bodily fluid on our clothes over the course of a birth.
If we break it down into a list at minimum wage:
Home visits: Average, 1.5 hrs x 6 = 9 hours = $135
Labour and delivery: Average, 8 hours = $120
Phone calls, text, email: Average, 6 hours = $90
Fuel: $20 per visit, 6 visits = $120
Babysitting $15 per hour x 17 hours = $255
Snacks/food(during labour and delivery) = $15 -$20
Hospital parking & Tolls: Average = $25
Labouring aids/ Sanitary supplies = $15
Uniforms: Annually = $100
Advertising = $120
Total = $1000
Without adding uniforms and advertising, my take-home fee is around $225.
When you look at it in this perspective, it is not a large, profitable business, but that’s not why we do this job.
Being a Doula is probably the most rewarding labour of love work I have ever done.
We do it for the love of it, the honour of being invited into your lives and sacred space. To support women, empower them, give women a voice and autonomy over their own bodies. To watch a woman bloom and grow into a mother, to be able to educate, so that women will advocate for themselves and their babies. To show women that they are designed to give birth, to take away fear and replace that with confidence.
We gladly and happily sacrifice sleep and time to be the doula you wished for.
The doula that you deserve.
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Image source Shutterstock.