First things first. Becoming a Doula requires doula training, and, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you should get certified. To be taken seriously in the industry, and to be ready to get to work as soon as your training is over, take an in person training. Anyone can read about childbirth and study Penny Simkin’s The Birth Partner.
A hands on doula training, in front of an instructor is what gets you the insider knowledge and confidence you need to start attending births right away. (If you don’t feel like you can go to births right after training, or the training says you can’t or shouldn’t, you might want to question that training) There are many training organizations out there for you to choose from. A quick Google search will bring them up. Here at Colorado Mountain Doulas Agency we use ProDoula to train and certify our agency doulas. Not only does ProDoula teach you how to be an amazing doula, they provide the support you need to create a sustainable business, right from the start. We chose them because of their dedication to:
“…….empower doulas to create a strong earning potential while doing something they love and are passionate about. ProDoula supports their Doulas in the nurturing way a ProDoula supports a client and is dedicated to the success and growth of each of its members.”
EVERY Doula, no matter how long since training should be paid a living wage to do the job they love and that means YOU!
If your training was thorough, you should feel ready to start working as soon as you’re done with training. I highly recommend it. Get out there and start marketing yourself right away.
Important things to remember:
This is a business. Treat it like one.
Invest in yourself. Investment doesn’t stop at training.
Get your marketing materials, website and social media in place.
Network like mad and charge no less than 90% of the going rate in your area. Yep, I said it. I WANT you to charge AT LEAST 90% of what my agency charges, right from the beginning. You don’t want to be getting clients simply because you’re the cheapest do you? Is that the reputation you want out there about who you are as a professional? You can be McDonalds, or you can be a restaurant at the Broadmoor where everyone wants to go for brunch. Which do you prefer to be?
There is NO SUCH THING in Colorado as a doula school. Therefore you are NOT an intern doula, student doula, or a doula in training, except for the literal, physical time you are a training with a trainer in a classroom. These are myths perpetuated by out dated training, and people who do not value the work you do; looking for a deal.
You do not need to be paid less for doing the same job I do. I repeat YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PAID LESS FOR DOING THE SAME JOB I DO.
You’ve just spend a lot of time and money on training, probably some books, and you’re about to lay down some more cash to create a business. You deserve to be paid. If you’re a kickass doula and you get a client instead of me, at the same price, you deserve it! Way to go! Put food on the table for your family! Turn your passion into a paycheck!
If you’re not quite ready for all that or business just isn’t your thing, you have another option.
You can become an agency doula. For the doula who just isn’t that into business, this really is the perfect answer. Agencies are established companies with a brand, marketing, and clientele with several doulas on contract. A trained Doula can apply with an agency and start work right away.
Agency doulas have little to no start-up fees other than their own training and personal expenses. They are 1099 employees; independent contractors. This doesn’t mean there is NO work involved, but it is considerably less than starting a business from scratch.
You will be expected to carry agency business cards and spread the word, representing yourself in a professional manner to help bring the clients in, but you don’t have to worry about websites and branding (unless you want to) and paying for marketing materials. You get to do what you love. Support families in their birthing year…..and make money doing it!
Ready? Go do it!