Hey Birth Revolutionaries, it’s Margo here, in my new (to me) 2017 Sienna mini-van I just bought yesterday like a grown ass woman. I’m posting here to start a conversation that I would like to continue around birth doula’s and the M word – MONEY.
I am a birth worker (I happen to be a midwife but stay with me) need a reliable vehicle to get me to births in all weather, and that also fits my kids and their friends eventually when they aren’t weird tiny humans anymore in the next few years.
I also need to be able to fit all my birth bags, and BONUS I wanted something that I could fold seats down and SLEEP in FLAT at births when the weather is nice enough at least. A mobile room to help me do my work. This one also happens to have heated seats for my poor butt when I have to drive home in below zero temps after an all nighter.
I’m sure you know that comfortable, reliable, sleep worthy, big vehicles are not cheap. And I need to NEVER worry or stress about potential repairs (because my life is stressful enough) so you KNOW I added that 100,000 mile warranty which wasn’t cheap either.
This is one of the MANY ways that birth work plays into big financial decisions in my life, and will play into your if you are a birth doula.
We get applications every single day from people who want to be birth doulas and sign up for one of our free Clarity Calls (if you haven’t already, go do that here When we ask what their financial goals are for their doula work, at least half of them say something like this….
“I’m not in it for the money.” “I am not looking to get rich.” “Anything I made would just be a blessing.” “I just want to help women who can’t access doula care.” And guess what? Those people will 1) never actually become birth doulas beyond a training and 2) will never be able to help and make change the way they are hoping to if they don’t get RIGHT with their relationship to money, and ultimately their own self-worth.
If you want to help women and offer doula services in your community, especially the ones who can’t afford your services, you need to value your doula services and offerings, and charge an amount that allows you to pay your bills, buy that nice mini-van (if you’re like me and need one), feed yourself and your children the best food, never wonder if you have the money to get the supplements, herbs, massages, therapy that YOU NEED in order to be the absolute best healthiest and best version of yourself possible.
No one wants a tired, sick, depleted doula at their birth. Not even if they are doing it for free.
If you do not get right with money, you WILL burn out and you will probably attend 2-3 births and throw in the towel once you realize how much work it takes to do birth work. That is what this screwed up system wants. It is only when we have sustainable, long time birth doulas and midwives that we see substantial change.
So you need to figure out what that financial needs and desires looks like inside your successful doula business – how many births per month you want to do, what your business expenses might be, how much you nee to pay your backup doulas, and do the math, sister. Setting your doula fee so that you are making a living wage or higher is one of the most key pieces of creating a sustainable doula business. Really get clear on your doula services and what they can sustainably entail. If you want to do one free or low cost birth a month, how much do you need to bring in from paying clients to meet those goals?
Do you actually want to be a powerful doula, birth consultant, or childbirth educator where you live, or is this a fleeting interest/hobby? We also need women who are just enthusiasts to spread the good word, but we REALLY DO need more powerful, effective doulas who are ready to do this work week in and week out, and creating a thriving doula business to make it sustainable.
If that is YOU, please consider our Doula Academy , a transformational 4 month birth doula training and mentoring program. Our course is great if you want to become a birth doula, a postpartum doula or a childbirth educator. We have bonuses and additional support inside the core birth doula training if you want to offer your doula services in these other ways.