Compensating my doula - she won't take my check!
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    Contributor hiddenblue's Avatar
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    Question Compensating my doula - she won't take my check!

    So my doula came by yesterday for the postpartum visit and continued to give me great support and advice towards not only my own self-care, but my baby's care.

    If you read my birth story, you know that I believe it would have not gone very well had she not been there. She was absolutely amazing.

    When the visit was over, I went to write her a check (she has one of those scales or whatever that she charges between one amount and another. I asked her what I could write the check for and planned to write the check for $250 OVER whatever she asked for, I was that happy with having her there for my son's birth!) But she refused to give me an amount and told me she doesn't want anything but to be a blessing to my family. All I have paid her is the $350 deposit from when we signed the contract.

    Do you have any suggestions for what I can do? Could I mail cash to her house? Give her gift cards? I have the feeling that even if I sent her a check, she would not cash it. Or is this the kind of thing where they don't give you an amount because they want you to decide for yourself what to pay? I am very flustered! Shortly after my son was born, I actually told DH I wanted to pay her twice whatever she asked for!!! I totally believe I would not have made it to the hospital and things would have gotten very messy and ugly without her there. (And we were very much NOT prepared for a home birth!)
    -Jennifer




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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Usually a sliding scale fee is for parents to decide what amount within that range they can afford to pay her. I'd probably mail her a check for whatever amount I felt I wanted to pay. Include a card saying that she is truly a blessing and because of that you want to pay her what she is worth. Also offer to be a reference for future potential clients to call. Doulas get most of their business by word of mouth because it's such a personal thing they do.

    If you really feel she won't cash a check, then get her bank information from the back of your first check, go to her bank, and deposit cash into her account. And send her the above card the same day.
    The number of U.S. states in which a person can marry the person they love regardless of gender: 30 and counting!

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    Posting Addict jolly11sd's Avatar
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    ITA with Spacers. Good ideas.

    My only other though is to mail the $ to her and ask her to use it toward a family that would not otherwise be able to afford her services.

    ETA: Can you pm me her name & # so I can pass it on to friends I have in your neck of the bay area? Thanks!
    Last edited by jolly11sd; 05-07-2012 at 04:03 PM.
    ~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)


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    Posting Addict Marite13's Avatar
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    Given that you felt you got SO much out of her being there, I would try harder to get her to accept something from you as well. Mail her a check and keep an eye on it.

    The only other thing I can think of is if she really won't take the money from you (who knows, maybe she has some reason!) you could donate in her name to a doula organization or something- to some group that she would support, or that might support her, you know? Or that would support other women in being able to have a doula if they otherwise couldn't afford it.

    I haven't often worked with people who use sliding scales, but, my midwife does, and even though she does use a sliding scale, she still is the one who ends up setting the price. I think situations like yours are exactly why my doula insists on full payment by 38 weeks- because sometimes births are fast, or a mother is really independent and doesn't seem to need much support or whatever... but, the doula is still giving her time, being on call, etc. Usually I could see a client trying to get out of paying by saying something like, "you were only there an hour" or whatever... but, in the end, doulas would never make a cent if every client had to pay based on their own standards or whatever. You know? Anyway... I hope she accepts some money from you, because she deserves it if you say so.
    Mara & Joel, 2009




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    Contributor hiddenblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Usually a sliding scale fee is for parents to decide what amount within that range they can afford to pay her. I'd probably mail her a check for whatever amount I felt I wanted to pay. Include a card saying that she is truly a blessing and because of that you want to pay her what she is worth. Also offer to be a reference for future potential clients to call. Doulas get most of their business by word of mouth because it's such a personal thing they do.

    If you really feel she won't cash a check, then get her bank information from the back of your first check, go to her bank, and deposit cash into her account. And send her the above card the same day.
    Thank you for this advice! She deserves to be blessed more than she thinks my family does! After all, we are the ones who have just been blessed with our son!
    -Jennifer




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    Contributor hiddenblue's Avatar
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    You have all given me great advice, thank you so much! I am going to have to spend some time and thought on this... It just means so much to me and I don't want to offend her in any way.
    -Jennifer




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    Mega Poster knhoward's Avatar
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    I haven't read your birth story (but I will after I write this) I think you should first try to send her a cheque. If she does not cash it after a reasonable amount of time maybe you could contact her and ask why. If she still doesn't want to cash it then you could make a donation to a charity that she would like.

    I think my doula will have no problem taking compensation. She is a mom of 3 and pregnant with a 4th and she has a home renovation she is working to fund. She is a close friend of mine and I know she needs the money to do this. I plan on paying her what we agreed upon (my DHs employer will actually pay her) and then hopefully getting her a gift card from Home Depot to go towards some of the renovations she is planning. So I guess maybe a gift card is another way to compensate her (except if she never uses it it would be a total waste of money)
    Kristin - Mom to 3 little boys and one baby girl

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    Posting Addict ange84's Avatar
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    I know some local doulas around here allocate so many clients a year for free so perhaps sending the money and say you want it to be used to help another family who can not afford a doula to have one so they to can experience the amazing assistance she blessed your family with.
    Wendy




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    Quote Originally Posted by jolly11sd View Post
    My only other though is to mail the $ to her and ask her to use it toward a family that would not otherwise be able to afford her services.
    I like this idea! Making it clear of course you are paying HER, but if she feels uncomfortable accepting it to please use it for another family. I think it is a little weird actually. She won't have much of a paid career as a doula if she makes a habit of not accepting money for her VALUABLE service. It's sweet, but really, people expect to be paying her.
    Maggie
    Married Brian 8/11/07
    DS Griffin 1/18/09, DS Ronan 7/3/12



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