Making money while doing what you love – is it possible?

Thinking about switching careers and becoming a birth doula? Unsure whether to take the leap? This four-part series asks seven awesome doulas to tell us how they switched careers to become a birth doula. They talk about the ins and outs of the job, and how they feel about working as a birth doula. In the third post of the series, we talk about money – how much can a birth doula earn and the possibilities of working part-time while having another job.

If you’ve already made the decision to become a birth doula, check out our Becoming a Birth Doula Guide. This FREE guide will walk you through the steps to start your new career.

How much can you charge?

$1,500-$2,000 USD (virtual-in and person)

Exie, Michigan USA

How much are your services worth? What is the impact of your services? Does your state or locality offer reimbursement? Does your income cover your tax bill? The other way around?

Tintawi, New Mexico USA

US$1,500 (I work with a team of doulas)

Feven, Bermuda

At this time I am charging the equivalent of $1,000 USD per birth, including two prenatal visits (of which one can be virtual) and one postnatal. I also charge extra if labor support goes past the 12-hour mark.

Adele, South Korea

There is no official ‘cap’ in the market where I live with regard to how we are ‘allowed’ to charge for our services. I have defined my rates, however, based on an understanding of what similar professionals will charge in this market. Also, for those clients who would like support but may have difficulty affording it, I offer a discounted rate and flexible payment options which they may consider.

Xenia, Greece

There are a lot of factors that go into this such as experience, regional rates, and personal choice. As an example, the range for a birth doula package in my area tends to be anywhere from $700-$1,500 USD.

Carmen, Michigan USA

Whatever is sustainable for you! In my current specialization and with the amount of time I spend with clients, I typically charge between $1950-$2500 CAD. This is above and beyond what is typically charged in my community, and that’s okay! We each offer our own style of support, and our clients find value in the ways we work together. What you charge has nothing to do with anyone else because only you know what you need to make for your work to be sustainable.

Johanna, Ontario Canada

How much can a birth doula earn in a month?

It depends on the number of clients you take which may depend on the number of facilities in your community. For me, we have so many hospitals that I’ve had to travel from one hospital to another an hour away on the same day. I try to avoid that kind of pressure by limiting the number of clients I accept.

Exie, Michigan USA

That depends on your personal capacity.

Tintawi, New Mexico USA

Between $3000-$4000

Feven, Bermuda

With births alone, not much, as I am not attending many at this time! Between births, childbirth education, and CBI work I earn about $2,000 USD/month.

Adele, South Korea

I think that this depends on how many hours you choose to work, the number of clients you are willing to take on, and the types of services you are happy to offer. It also depends, of course, on the needs and level of awareness of these needs in the people whom you hope to reach.

Xenia, Greece

That depends on how many clients you want to take per month. Most months I only take one client, but some doulas take many more than that. The most I personally would ever be willing to take in a single month would be 3 clients. That means I could potentially make as much as $4,500 per month.

Carmen, Michigan USA

This is highly dependent on how many clients you take, what your expenses are, what you charge your clients, and what amount of your fee contributes to your wage. If you know you need to bring in a certain amount every month once you’re fully established, you can start divide it by the number of clients you want to support each month and use that as your base amount in your fee structure. As a small business owner, you’ll be both your greatest asset and greatest barrier when it comes to how much you can earn.

Johanna, Ontario Canada

Can you work part-time as a doula and have another job as well?

Yes, I am a practicing massage therapist who worked a full-time schedule until the Pandemic. Now I work part-time in massage and part-time as a birth professional.

Exie, Michigan USA

You can work as a doula and have another career. Your capacity for managing the requirements of both jobs is a factor. How do you structure your practice and your support system, and what number of clients do you anticipate accepting on a yearly basis?

Tintawi, New Mexico USA

Yes – I did this for 11 years before transitioning into full-time birth work

Feven, Bermuda

That’s exactly what I am doing, and it helps that my other part-time jobs are also birth-related and that I am my own boss!

Adele, South Korea

Yes. I am currently also working as a freelancer with a research agency and facilitating focus groups a couple of times a week.

Xenia, Greece

I really do think you can, but just like working as a doula while having a family, it takes a lot of cooperation and communication. You would definitely need to communicate clearly with your other job to make sure that everyone is on the same page and comfortable with the schedule.

Carmen, Michigan USA

Honestly, you should expect to for the first couple of years! It takes time to build and scale a business – especially if you want it to be your full-time source of income. It’s important to have a good relationship and contract with backup doulas as well as transparency with your clients and other employer (where possible) about what your commitment is to them.

Johanna, Ontario Canada

Share on:

Leave a Comment