Start Your Doula Business Today
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Congratulations on joining 1,000's of women who are providing support during pregnancy birth, and postpartum! It is a very exciting time with so much to learn and do. You might even feel a little frustrated and unsure how where to begin. Let me help you by answering some common questions I and other doulas have had.
1. How do I find clients? Get active in the community on Facebook or volunteer your services. Once people start to know you, they will refer clients to you. blogging is also a great way to let others know you have great information and experience to share.
2. How much should I charge? That is up to you to set the price. Typically, it depends on how much experience you have and the value of your services. The prices range from free to over $1000. The average seems to be around $600.
3. What services do I offer? That is also up to you. Some doulas just offer doula service. Others are yoga teachers, health coaches, placenta encapsulists, photographers, lactation consultants, childbirth educators, etc. Make sure your professional welcome packet is informative and easy to read. Present yourself as well prepared. Your clients want to be reassured that you will be professional and follow through on all your commit to do.
4. What kind of doulas are there? Birth, Postpartum, Loss, Sibling, and Infertility doulas are some of the options.
Your Doula Bag where you can buy doula and birth support products. Doulaing the Doula has many great articles to guide you on your journey. Better Birth Doula Services and Your Doula Biz has tips for keeping track of your clients. Your Better Birth has great quotes to help lift you. Youtube videos about Rebozos or search for Naoli Vinaver. Rebozos range in price from $20 to $110. Sandi Krakowski has all kinds of free start-up business help.
Tips to Grow Your Business
1. Finish the reading etc. required for certification before worrying about getting clients. You don't want to stop your client flow to finish your certification. There is always something new to learn. Pick up a book and keep yourself current. Here are some we suggest:
Eating for Two by Robin Lim
The Healthy Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears
The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (Expanded and Updated) by Penny Simkin, P.T., Janet Whalley, RN., B.S.N., and Ann Keppler, RN., M.N. Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper, R.N. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin You Just Glow and Other Lies of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond by Lisa WeissOptimal Care in Childbirth by Amy Romano Birth Without Fear Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Nursing Mother, Working Mother: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding Your Baby Before and After You Return to Work(Revised Edition) by Gale Pryor and Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S. Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S.
2. Create your brand before taking your first client. What do you want to call your business? What type of women will you best serve? How is your business different than the other doulas? Don't be plain vanilla. Focus on your uniqueness. Create your website and print those business cards to pass out to moms and fellow birth workers. Weebly, Zohosites, and Wordpress are free and a quick way to start out. VistaPrint or Overnight Prints usually have good coupons on the web.
3. Volunteer in the birth community. This helps you understand the local vibe and helps for moms to get to know you. Instead of you yelling to the crowd to "hire me", you will then have other moms to speak up about you and your business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
4. Join local birth groups (ICAN, BWI) and visit their monthly meetings. This helps network and broadens your ability to be a good resource. You not only know about what Nashville has to offer, but you have visited these places personally.
5. Join the HEART Birth Meetup to interact with local doulas and find out about free the monthly classes. The network for the first 45 min and then focus on a topic to discuss that has to do with the business side of doula work.
6. Find a doula mentor.
7. Keep your day job. No doula in Nashville is solely supported by doula work. She has a flexible day job too or a husband that supports her financially.
8. Recognize that it takes about 1 year to 18 months to build up your clientele. Don't be discouraged, but keep working to make yourself better. Connect to other doulas to help lift you. Good luck!