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Freelance Doula

Projected Income $2,000-$6,000 per birth
Costs to Start $400-$1,000 (training and certification)
Time to Start 3-6 months
Category Miscellaneous Freelance

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

Embrace the empowering role of a Freelance Doula. By providing essential support and care to mothers during childbirth, you not only make a significant impact on their lives but also earn a substantial income. The challenge lies in building a client base, but the emotional and financial rewards are immeasurable.

cons-icon Cons

  • Emotional Labor: The job can be emotionally draining.
  • Unpredictable Hours: Births can happen at any time, leading to irregular hours.
  • Client Acquisition: It might take time to build a steady client base.

pros-icon Pros

  • Making a Difference: Provide crucial support during a significant life event.
  • Flexible Schedule: Work on your terms and choose your clients.
  • Substantial Income: Earn a meaningful income per birth.

Being a freelance doula can be a fulfilling job, and you can combine it with a full-time job if you manage the freelancing doula schedule well.

Yet, there are many types of doulas, such as birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and antepartum doulas, so which should you pursue if you’re looking for a freelancing opportunity? That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

An Overview of Freelance Doulas: A Primer

A freelance doula provides doula services according to what suits their timelines, which makes practicing your passion more accessible.

Becoming a doula isn’t impossible if you don’t have experience working at a birth center, with a birth team, or preparing a birth plan. You can learn all of those aspects related to the birth process through the DONA international doula certification.

You can aim to be an all-time doula or choose a specific service type.

How Much Can A Freelance Doula Earn?

If you’re thinking of becoming a caregiver but aren’t sure how much you could be making, let’s discover the kind of money you could be making.

The earning potential can vary according to location, experience, service type, and the demand for doulas in the area you’re serving. Moreover, the earnings vary according to category, which include:

  • Flat Rates: There’s a minimum and fixed doula fee that can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per unmedicated birth.
  • Postpartum Period Doula Services: The newborn care that comes after the childbirth process is typically paid for on an hourly basis. The rates vary between $20 to $40 per hour or more for experienced doulas.
  • Additional Services: Some doulas offer extra services, such as being a childbirth educator, breastfeeding classes, breastfeeding guidance, and more. These additional services can cost more, and it also depends on the birth experience of the doula giving them.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Side Hustle as a Freelance Doula?

To begin work as a child life specialist, be it a birth coach, postnatal care, lactation consultant, or other care options, you’ll need some certification programs and certification classes.

So, you’ll inevitably need the certification fees, which can cost around $760 to $835. After that, you’re well on your way. However, if you’re looking to make progress with your career and get higher pay, you might need to pursue advanced certifications.

Moreover, you might have to pay membership fees to join a professional doula organization or association. These can help you with personal experience, networking opportunities, and helpful resources along your journey.

This advanced knowledge is available for extra fees, and depending on whether you get multiple doula certifications or not, the entire cost can range from around $700 and up to $6,000.

Finally, as a freelancing doula, you’ll need to build a marketing strategy to help you reach potential clients and secure enough clients per month to keep your business going.

On average, you’ll need about 4-5 clients every month or two to keep the business running.

Where Can You Find Freelance Doula Gigs?

  • Networking: Connecting with a birth professional or two will help you advance your career, be it obstetrician, childbirth educator, or midwife. Not only that but building a good reputation and getting referrals through word of mouth is one of the best ways to make it big in a business like being a freelance doula.
  • Doula Communities: Make sure to join doula directories and organizations like DONA International, DoulaMatch.net, and CAPPA. Through those, you can meet potential clients and find viable freelance doula gigs.
  • Online Platforms and Social Media: With a good marketing strategy and some good research skills, you can fetch the best freelance doula gigs through online platforms like Birthpedia, DoulaLink, Birthful, and social media.

Why You Should Consider Being a Freelance Doula As a Side Hustle?

  • Passion and Fulfillment: Anyone thinking of becoming a doula must have a giving soul that’s full of empathy. This makes a person an ideal candidate for being a doula as well as benefits them from the beautiful experience of supporting someone while creating a life!
  • Exploring Birth Work: Working as a freelance doula is a viable way to gain firsthand experience with birth work. You can test the waters, develop skills, and decide if you want to become a full-time doula or pursue a related profession.
  • Flexibility: Generally speaking, freelancing is the best way to get the most flexible work schedule, since you run your day. This gives you the room to pursue other commitments like a full-time job, personal projects, and others.

Problems With Being a Freelance Doula

  • Emotional Toll: A doula, whether freelancer or full-timer, has to be prepared for the emotional toll that the job entails. It can be intense to go through the challenges, pain, and sometimes unexpected events that happen throughout the process.
  • Unpredictable Schedules with On-call Availability Requirements: Although you get a degree of agency over your schedule as a freelance doula, it’s quite an unpredictable one. You can’t always be sure exactly what time of day someone’s going to give birth, especially if it’s not a c-section. Not to mention, to establish a good reputation, you might need to be available to your clients around the clock, especially around their estimated due dates.
  • Boundaries and Emotional Attachment: A good doula has to balance between establishing close relationships with their client yet keeping it professional and maintaining boundaries. Not to mention, they have to have solid emotional regulation, especially if anything should go awry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Profitable to Be a Doula?

In the beginning, being a doula might not be the most profitable job. However, as you make more progress, establish more clients, and gain more experience, you can make so much more money.

What Kind of Doula Makes the Most Money?

Postpartum doulas are the ones with the biggest possibility to make the most money since they charge by hour instead of a flat rate like birth doulas. A postpartum doula can make up to $45 per hour, and in some states like Los Angeles, CA, a postpartum doula makes up to $53 per hour!

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