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Doula Meeting Take One


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  #1  
October 5th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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I met with the first of two doulas that I have scheduled (so far). I was pretty impressed with her overall. I had mixed feelings when she took a call in the middle of our appointment. I felt like she is very attentive to her clients but then on the flip side I got pretty annoyed after she had been on the phone with her for 15 minutes.

She has experience working with the midwives at my birth center, and does come to your house during early labor. One of the big pluses was that she's able to do sterile water injections which I've heard works wonders for people with back problems (Cheryl - didn't you have that done?)

However - I have one HUGE problem with her, and I'm not sure DH or I can get past it. Her pricing is based on income. I think it's great that she has alternatives for low income individuals. What I have a real problem is the upcharge on the clients who have a higher income. With out tell you all what my husband and I make, I'll just say this. Her prices range from $200-1250 depending on your income. DH and I would fall into the $1250 range.

I've talked to 3 doulas and I've gotten prices from one additional. At this point I've been quoted $450, $500, and $695. The doula who charges $695 is for a pretty extensive postpartum package and is also a lactation consultant and Happiest Baby on the Block Educator.

So needless to say, she's $550 more than the most expensive doula, all because of our income. I can see having a sliding scale for low income individuals, but I have a real problem with her charging us substantially more (probably to make up for the fact that she's practically giving away services to the low income). I would have no problem paying her $600 or so dollars, and knowing she has a sliding scale for lower income. Maybe I'm just over thinking this - but I just can't get past it. DH was NOT thrilled with it.

(I should add, she commented about what a beautiful house we have, etc. so now knowing her pricing policy she was probably seeing $$. She also told me about some of the other houses in the neighborhood that she's done deliveries at and how amazing they are. Just kinda weird IMO?)

Okay - sorry, that ended up MUCH longer than I planned.
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  #2  
October 5th, 2010, 02:07 PM
bre4thewin's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ive heard of a lot of Doulas pricing like this. I just charge a flat fee because its easier for me. Bottom line is you should pick the Doula that you are most comfortable with. If there is something that irks you now...it will super irk you when you are laboring with her!
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  #3  
October 5th, 2010, 02:59 PM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Agreed with Bre, listen to your gut!
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  #4  
October 5th, 2010, 03:40 PM
BobbityBoo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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^^^Ditto to everything above. I don't have any experience with doula's fees but that would bother me too. Its nice of her to help low income clients but its not your job to make up for it just because "you can". Go with your gut!
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  #5  
October 5th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobittyBoo View Post
Its nice of her to help low income clients but its not your job to make up for it just because "you can".
This is exactly what DH and I decided on our walk tonight. My fingers are crossed that tomorrow goes well and this is a no brainer!
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  #6  
October 5th, 2010, 06:31 PM
sara~b's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ditto everyone else! I would NOT pay that much for her, especially when she ignored you for someone else. My doula always told me she would return my call (and did!) when she was with someone else (and I understood).
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  #7  
October 5th, 2010, 06:57 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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well, she doesn't sound like the doula for you for other reasons, but we did pay almost that much for ours. She came personally recommended though, and she gave us a choice of how much we paid her, just between 900 and 1200 (I think that was the range). She had a ton of experience (15 years) and was in midwifery school as well. It was worth it to us in the end.

as for the saline shots, I did not have them but my friend who had back labor in a birthing center whose birth I was at did. I didn't see them do it, I got there after, but it did help a lot. I requested it for Cadie's birth because my back was going crazy and I thought I had many many more hours ahead. They said yes they could do it, but it never happened. Personally, I would ask the birth center. Not sure it's a doula's place to do that, they are supposed to be non medical. They should be able to do that for you there, but I guess not everyone does them or believes they are always helpful. My friend said it was quite painful but it was worth it, but it does wear off.
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  #8  
October 5th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moon~maiden View Post
well, she doesn't sound like the doula for you for other reasons, but we did pay almost that much for ours. She came personally recommended though, and she gave us a choice of how much we paid her, just between 900 and 1200 (I think that was the range). She had a ton of experience (15 years) and was in midwifery school as well. It was worth it to us in the end.

as for the saline shots, I did not have them but my friend who had back labor in a birthing center whose birth I was at did. I didn't see them do it, I got there after, but it did help a lot. I requested it for Cadie's birth because my back was going crazy and I thought I had many many more hours ahead. They said yes they could do it, but it never happened. Personally, I would ask the birth center. Not sure it's a doula's place to do that, they are supposed to be non medical. They should be able to do that for you there, but I guess not everyone does them or believes they are always helpful. My friend said it was quite painful but it was worth it, but it does wear off.
That's right - I remember now. I thought it was VERY strange that she could do them as well - I was thinking it was something that the midwife would have done. I'm going to ask them when I have my appointment this week. She also said it would, "last through labor" which really had me thinking afterward - how she could say something like that.

The more I think and talk about how it went the less thrilled with her I am. We've already decided against her anyway, but I keep feeling better about the decision. I wouldn't mind paying that much - IF she had something above the rest of the doulas - and there was something I was truly paying for. But I can't justify paying more so she can charge the less fortunate a cheaper price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sara~b View Post
Ditto everyone else! I would NOT pay that much for her, especially when she ignored you for someone else. My doula always told me she would return my call (and did!) when she was with someone else (and I understood).
I really expected her to do that! I figured once she knew the client wasn't in labor she'd call her back!
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  #9  
October 6th, 2010, 06:21 AM
QueenCrafty's Avatar Courtney
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Wow, I can't get over charging that much! That sounds like a lot of little things adding up to a big negative. I hope you'll click better with one of the other doulas.
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  #10  
October 6th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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Gosh, I do not think I would pay that much either. Ours is $700.00 which is at the high end for this area, but that is based on experience, training and popularity, not our income.
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  #11  
October 6th, 2010, 07:53 AM
missmich
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I like the idea of the sliding scale,but that is a huge difference and I don't think it should be that different. I don't like that she took 15 minutes on the phone,that's a really long time. When I met my doula the first time she said to me right away she was expecting and important call she had to take if it came and she kept it really short and turned off her cell after.

I hope the next doula is the right one for you!
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  #12  
October 6th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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I agree- I think a sliding scale is a really good thing to do - BUT it should still be fair. Like 200 to even 800 wouldn't be crazy but that is A LOT! Or even normal price is 650 - or whatever - but can be discussed for low income people - and donations are accepted (after your birth and post partum) if you want to sort of sponsor someone who couldn't normal afford a doula.
I also agree 15 min is a long time to be on the phone. At least without prior explanation - or apologizing to you that this was an emergency they had to deal with. My midwives took calls during appointments - but they don't have nurses or an answering service for emergencies etc- just their cells. And I think the longest was maybe 5 min.
Anyway - Good Luck!!!! I hope the next is wonderful!
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