The decision to be either a career or hobby doula should not be taken lightly. Contemplating those questions above will help direct you toward the right path but also taking into account you financial status will also help. It is very hard to be a career birth doula and earn a living wage from it. Considering the average doula can realistically only take four clients a month, and that there is a market cap on what a doula charges, are you able to support your family? And if you’re considering postpartum work, many find it much easier because shifts are scheduled! The hard part about postpartum work is that as of current, the market isn’t demanding as many postpartum doulas as birth.
If you’re leery about the financial prospects, don’t fear. Many successful doulas have added additional services like placenta encapsulation, essential oil education, breastfeeding support, and reiki / massage services to their repertoire that can help supplement their income.
If you’re thinking you can only afford to be a hobby doula (one who takes a small, limited amount of clients per year), that’s great! Your clients will gain so much from your support. Even so, it is even more crucial to stay connected with the local doulas in your area to stay up on the latest research and provider news, and to stay engaged and up-to-date with the latest evidence-based information.