Paying Doula- wwyd? — The Bump
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Paying Doula- wwyd?

This was my 2nd birth. I found a doula just in case Dh would be out of town. I paid a $200 up-front fee. We had 2 meetings before the birth and 1 of 2 post-partum so far.
I'll have to post a birth story sometime. I wound up losing my mucous plug around 3:10 p.m. I called her a couple of minutes later as things were getting serious pretty quick. Ds2 arrived around 3:25 in my arms as Dh was coming down the hall. (He was dropping off Ds1.) My doula arrived shortly after and helped take care of me while the paramedics checked out Lo. She grabbed me a robe, set aside items to be cleaned, helped get me started BFing and grabbed clothes for my ambulance ride. She even followed us to the hospital and helped me transition with the nurses there. Also, she works closely with my OB (has her personal cell). So she alerted my OB right away, who wound up stopping by my house on her way to the hospital!
So, now the question. She told me that since she didn't make it to my birth, that there'd be no extra charge. But, obviously she still went above and beyond- was very helpful. I'll have to look up the cost again. I think it would have been an additional $600.
What amount would you pay?
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Re: Paying Doula- wwyd?

  • aylafsu88 said:
    I would probably pay her another $200. If I calculate it correctly her fee is $800 so with the amount you paid her plus the $200 that would be roughly half. I think half is the right amount for her time in your 0situation.
    I agree. I would still give her a bit more of her original fee, but certainly not the whole thing. However, if you are on a very tight budget right now, you could go down to $150 I think. Many doulas do a sliding scale out of respect for different budgeting needs, so just do what you can. 
    | Married since 2008 | DH and I: Both 30 | Me: Endometriosis and Carrier of an X-Linked Dominant Genetic Disorder | DH: Low Morph | Planning IVF with PGD and PGS in 2013 | Freeze-All IVF #1: March 2013 ER 3/26. 29R, 12M, 11F. 4 5AA frozen blasts. Freeze-All IVF#2: May 2013 ER 5/15. 31R, 21M, 20F. 6 5AA frozen blasts. Our PGD probe was completed in late June (total of 20 weeks to develop). PGD and PGS Results came on 6/19: 3 healthy embryos (normal chromosomes and unaffected by my family's genetic disorder). FET #1: July 2013 Natural Cycle - Cancelled due to insufficient lining (only got to 7.5mm). FET #1.2: August 2013 - Medicated Cycle with Lupron & Estrogen Patches to build up lining. Single embryo transfer was 8/23. Beta #1: 240! Beta #2: 578! U/S on 9/19 at 6w4d: We saw the heart beating at 131bpm. Second U/S on 10/4 at 8w5d: We saw the heart beating at 178bpm. EDD 5/11/2014
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  • Full disclosure that I am a doula, so my answer might be different from everyone else's.  I'm surprised that she doesn't have a contract that stipulates what happens in the event of a precipitous labor/birth.  My contract (and the contracts of most doulas I know) specifies that mom is still responsible for the whole fee in this situation.

    My feeling is that you aren't paying the doula just for the birth.  You're paying her for all of the prenatal and postpartum support, but also for the fact that she has to put her life on hold and be on call for four weeks in case you go into labor (my contract clarifies that for two weeks before and after your due date, I will not be more than an hour from you).  So, it's not just about those hours at the birth but about all of the other support and on-call time as well.

    Just my two cents.  Having said all of that, she doesn't have a contract clarifying this and she told you that you don't owe anything extra, so I don't think it's wrong if you DON'T pay her the whole fee.  But if it was me, I'd give her the entire $800.
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    AmyRI[Deleted User]jessib10[Deleted User]
  • If she didn't show up at all, and didn't help at all with the transition to the hospital, I'd consider paying her less than the entire fee.

    But in this situation, I think you should pay her everything. Instead of helping you through contractions, she helped you just after the birth and did plenty of work in communicating with the paramedics, your OB, and the hospital. It sounds like she took several hours of her time the day you gave birth, and that her networking with your OB got you excellent medical care during what could have been a scary, stressful time if you had been alone.

    She earned her money, and I don't see how it's ok not to pay her.

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    [Deleted User]aylafsu88
  • AZlauren said:
    Full disclosure that I am a doula, so my answer might be different from everyone else's.  I'm surprised that she doesn't have a contract that stipulates what happens in the event of a precipitous labor/birth.  My contract (and the contracts of most doulas I know) specifies that mom is still responsible for the whole fee in this situation.

    My feeling is that you aren't paying the doula just for the birth.  You're paying her for all of the prenatal and postpartum support, but also for the fact that she has to put her life on hold and be on call for four weeks in case you go into labor (my contract clarifies that for two weeks before and after your due date, I will not be more than an hour from you).  So, it's not just about those hours at the birth but about all of the other support and on-call time as well.

    Just my two cents.  Having said all of that, she doesn't have a contract clarifying this and she told you that you don't owe anything extra, so I don't think it's wrong if you DON'T pay her the whole fee.  But if it was me, I'd give her the entire $800.

    I'm a doula as well. And my contract does state that in the event of a precipitous birth or any other reason that is beyond my control I'm still to be paid my full free. I do supplement with extra postpartum hours (unless it's your fault ie not calling me). But my fee isn't that high either. I'd still pay her at least half of the fee though if not the full amount. Especially if you're already budgeted for it.

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  • I would pay her the full amount. She set up her calendar an didn't take more births than she could so she could be at yours. She obviously spent plenty if time with you even though she wasn't there for birth. Birth is unpredictable and that's the business. Doulas are under paid the way it is. Sounds like she went the extra mile for sure. I would not hesitate to pay the full amount! It wasn't her fault the baby came so fast! Congratulations by the way!
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