Self-selecting sliding scale

Quality perinatal care and education should be something that is accessible to all people regardless of financial privilege or situation. In an effort to lower the barrier to entry and provide my services to a wider range of clients, I offer both pricing plans and a self-selecting sliding scale. This ensures that I am fairly compensated for my time and energy and that clients can choose the financial model that best fits their needs and potentially pay it forward to another client. I also use the Contributor Fund to pay my backup doulas. This ensures that my clients will always have support and that those doulas are also fairly paid. 

The highest price listed for a service is the Contributor Price and reflects the true price of that service, as well as an additional amount that will be contributed to the sliding scale. The middle price is the Full Price and reflects the true price of the service without an additional amount to support another client. The lowest price is the Sliding Scale Price and reflects an accessible price for those whom paying the full price would be a hardship. I trust my clients to self-select the amount they can fairly pay, while acknowledging that if someone chooses to pay the lowest price when they can in fact afford a higher price, it will in turn limit access to someone who truly needs a lower price to access these services. Birth work is community work and I believe in my community to help support one another.

Below is a guide on how to self-select your price. My interpretation has been inspired by Alexis J. Cunningfolk. You can read their work on this topic here. I was also inspired by the sliding scale offered by the Transgender Training Institute which you can read about here.

I can afford the highest price if…
  • I can comfortably meet my basic needs*
  • I own my home or apartment
  • I own or lease a car
  • I have regular access to healthcare
  • I am employed or I do not need to work to meet my basic needs
  • I have some debt but it does not prohibit me meeting my needs
  • I have access to savings
  • I can buy new things when I want or need them
  • I can afford an annual vacation and to take time off
I can afford the middle price if…
  • I sometimes stress about meeting my basic needs, but I usually meet them
  • I own or rent my home or apartment
  • I own or lease a car
  • I have access to healthcare
  • I am consistently employed
  • I have some debt and it does sometimes limit me meeting my basic needs
  • I might have access to savings
  • I can buy some new things but also buy used or thrifted
  • I can afford a vacation annually or once every few years
I can afford the lowest price if…
  • I stress about meeting my basic needs and don’t always meet them
  • I rent or have unstable housing
  • I don’t have a car 
  • I don’t have regular access to healthcare
  • I am unemployed or underemployed
  • I qualify for government assistance
  • I have debt and it limits me meeting my needs
  • I don’t have access to savings
  • I rarely buy new items
  • I cannot take an annual vacation or time off

*Basic needs include, housing, food, transportation, insurance, child-care etc.