Considering the number of hours per client and level of commitment involved, taking two to four clients due per month is a full-time workload for most birth Doulas. Otherwise, how can we be sure to be available for your birth, even with our dedicated back-ups? When our Doulas commit to attending your birth, she must limit the number of other clients she takes on during your “birth month”, the two weeks before and after your “due date”, to avoid needing to be in two places at once.
Being a Doula also means having no set schedule. So, we can’t know if we pay for a class or training if we'll be able to take it. Having another “normal” job where we have to be there for a set schedule is not possible.
When your contract is signed & your due date is added to our calendar, we commit to being “on call” for the two weeks before and two weeks after your estimated due date. If your birth should occur before or after your 38-42 weeks when you are considered term, we make every effort to be there. A full calendar is 32 to 40 clients per year; in reality, there are some weeks where we have to turn clients away and then there are other weeks where we have no births on the calendar.
Whenever we schedule anything from a meeting or doctor’s appointment to a vacation or a day trip, the commitments we make to our clients and on call schedule is taken into consideration. If we schedule a vacation, we need to add two weeks on either side during which we cannot accept clients. Whenever we are on call we need to be ready to leave at a moments notice. We also guarantee arrangements with a backup Doula in case we get sick, or if we have an emergency or are attending another birth. We pay that Doula ourselves, so a portion of each fee must be set aside until after the birth when we can be sure that it won’t be needed.
Doulas are self-employed and we don’t get paid sick days, medical insurance, paid vacation or days off. A Doula, just like any other business person, has business expenses. We have professional association fees required for Certification as well as required yearly continuing education costs. And of course we have regular business expenses for our offices and other carrying fees. Because we must be reachable 24/7 our transportation and communication expenses such as cell phones and email are higher than average.
Being On Call
We never know what might happen after we receive “the-call”. Not a day goes by that we do not take our on-call schedule into consideration when scheduling appointments & making plans. We spend many major holidays either working with or on the phone with a client in labor. We cannot take weekend trips away from the area, and even day trips have to be planned around traffic conditions.
Being “on call” means every day we need to be ready to go, every night we may get “the call” and spend the next 24 to 48 hours at a birth. We may not have gotten to sleep – but we are still ready to go.
We offer more opportunities for you to have Doula Lauren at your birth than most of the chosen medical practitioners. We have a better than 99% rate of birth attendance with the NYC Doula Service. We pride ourselves as a Doula Service that is quick to answer your phone calls, texts and emails. Does your medical practitioner offer these statistical rates?
Why Do We Do This Work?
We do it for the same reason as most Doulas – We love it. It is our passion. The moment of birth is a blessing and transformation. It is an honor to be a trusted to share this sacred experience. It is a joy to offer support to the new mother and her new family.
Understanding Our Fee Structure
The annual income of a birth Doula is the number of clients per year times 1/2 of her fee per birth. To calculate how much Doulas should be paid you should take what you consider would be a reasonable salary in your area based on the cost of living there, then subtract 25% to get what the “take-home” income would be for an employee, then double that to see what your Doula needs to gross to get the same “take-home” income, then divide that # by 36 (the # of births she can attend in a year), the resulting # is what the Doula should be paid per birth.
Therefore, in order for your Doula to make the equivalent of a $40,000 per year salary,(well under the standard cost of living in NYC) a Doula needs to make $1,666.66~ per birth.
Because we charge a one-time global fee that is all inclusive the reality of our fees is that with factoring in the hours spent on call our hourly fee comes down to $3.25-$4.26.
At NYC Doula Service, we have always worked hard to maintain affordable rates to all our clients since we opened our doors.
NYC Doula Service truly offers experienced Doulas at affordable rates. Contact us to book your experienced Doula today. 917-617-7905.
*A little bit of humor*
Certified Professional Doula since 2007
On the surface, the Doula’s fee may seem like a lot to charge for one long day of work. But, in reality, an eight-hour labor would be considered pretty fast, and the longest continuous time we’ve spent providing labor support is over 48 hours. The average actual time spent with a woman for her labor and birth is about 16 hours-24 hours. This does not include prenatals, phone calls, texts and emails as well as the postpartum visit. Of course there are other expenses that go into the fees of Birth Doulas such as our travel time to meetings and births, which are on the average of 45 minutes to an hour and the logistics of hiring a Birth Doula in NYC require that taxis and or parking fees are used most of the time to alleviate street parking problems as well as necessitate speed.