No. There’s not a single doula training organization (birth or postpartum) that requires doulas to work for free. There are a few programs out there that give free doula training in exchange for working some births in their program, but Utah does not have any such program. Doula work is tough mentally, physically demanding, hard on the family and sometimes the hours really stink. We do it because of the love for the job and a passion for helping people. It shouldn’t be a drain on the doula’s personal finances on top of that.
What is the going rate for an experienced doula in Utah?
$500-900ish depending on experience and services provided. Doulas in training also vary, as they come into the profession with varying related skills and experience. We strongly recommend $300 as a bare minimum to pay a doula in training, as a doula’s out of pocket expenses to attend a birth in Utah can easily top $200.
So what should I expect to pay a doula in training?
Our recommended minimum for birth doulas is $300. (Experienced doulas run $500-900 in Utah) Postpartum work tends to be charged hourly, and we recommend new postpartum doulas start at $20 an hour. (Experienced postpartum doulas are $30-35 an hour) It’s common for postpartum doulas to have a minimum number of hours they will work, so be sure and ask that as part of the interview process. However, each doula is free to set her own pricing and can certainly choose to charge more if she wishes. This program supports doulas – even doulas in training – having the right to bring home income to their family for their work.
Gas, child care, handouts, consumable supplies for the birth bag, etc. are all direct costs that the doula incurs in the course of attending your birth. Remember she incurs gas and child care costs for prenatal visits as well as the birth itself.
Many of the same costs: Gas, child care, handouts, and supplies are all direct costs that the postpartum doula incurs in the course of serving a family. Because the postpartum doula makes repeated trips, gas is a larger proportion of the expenses for a postpartum doula, and one of the main reasons they often set a minimum number of hours per visit.
The suggested minimum prices listed here are based on a survey of active practicing doulas in the state of Utah and only address the direct costs of providing doula services. Additionally, doulas just setting up their business have expenses like setting up a web site, getting business cards, a business license, insurance, etc. , so some doulas – even in training – may charge more than our suggested minimum.
How do I best choose a doula?
Choose 5-6 to interview by phone. From those, choose 2-3 doulas to interview in person. Find a good match of personality and philosophy over just the cheapest.