Is Doula Work Right for You?
We're often approached by people considering whether to become a doula. There are so many factors to consider, from the logistics and challenges of living on-call, to figuring out last-minute childcare, to your own objectives in working with growing families... this definitely isn't the path for everyone.
We offer consultations to help you figure out how being a doula actually works, and whether it's something you want to pursue further.
$65 for a 1 hour exploration session
We hold sessions on Zoom, and you will be paired with either Amanda, Marlee, or Megan (15 years of doula experience between us) for your personalized exploration session.
If you have a passion for supporting parents during pregnancy, birth, or the newborn period, you may be full of questions.
How would this work fit into my life?
Would I be able to make a living as a doula?
I can't be on-call 24/7. Can I still be a doula?
Can I be a doula if I've had a c-section?
Can I be a doula if I've never given birth?
I want to be a doula but I don't know if I should I start my own business or join an agency.
There are so many training organizations! Which one would be best for me?
Doula work is not one-size-fits all. The 3 of us are all walking different paths on our doula journeys, even though we work closely together:
Amanda is currently offering overnight postpartum doula support, birth classes, placenta encapsulation, and car seat installation services. She attends births occasionally (only for repeat clients). She is also a student midwife and nannies occasionally.
Marlee offers daytime postpartum doula support, lactation counseling, and car seat installation services during normal business hours. She shares an on-call schedule with Megan for their birth doula clients and attends births when someone is in labor during the day. Marlee and Megan also own an occasional babysitting service in Orange County, and Marlee sometimes nannies when she's not working with other clients.
Megan has a full-time day job outside the birth world and sings (very part-time) with a professional choir. On evenings and weekends she attends prenatal and postpartum visits with birth doula clients and teaches birth classes. Sharing an on-call schedule with Marlee, Megan takes the overnight shifts when a birth doula client is laboring.
As you can see, there are no cookie cutter doulas on our team! We each came to this work in our own way, and have our own "happy place" of how much and what kind of work we do. And perhaps most importantly, we allow it to change over time.
Doula work is extremely individualized! If you're considering this path, we'd love to talk with you about the huge variety of ways you can help support growing families.
Our doula exploration sessions are a chance for you to spend an hour with an experienced doula asking your questions and getting a preview of the ins and outs of doula work.
It can be really hard to know from the outside what doula work is really like. In these sessions we can chat about:
why and how you want to support growing families, and whether becoming a doula will help you accomplish those goals
a typical schedule as a birth and/or postpartum doula
possibilities for minimizing the toll on your family life that on-call work can take
options for supporting families that don't require 24/7 commitment
realistic expectations for the time it takes to build a business and make a living as a doula
Spending time talking to an experienced doula can be invaluable as you evaluate whether this is the path for you. Ready to get started?
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm feeling called to being a doula. Can you help me figure out how soon I can expect to be doing this full-time?
This is a huge one, and we're always happy to talk it over with people who are considering switching careers!
There are so many variables with this that it can be tough to know what to expect just from reading online. A session like this can be super helpful. We'll probably ask you a bunch of questions (where do you live? What do you consider full-time? How much income would you need to replace if you quit your day job?). Then we'll chat about the realities of getting started as a doula and help you figure out a practical plan for reaching your goals.
By the end of our session, you'll have a better idea of what it takes to build up your doula business to full-time (your definition) and how you can start heading in that direction.
I want to become a doula but I don't know if birth or postpartum work would be a better fit for me. Is that something we can talk about?
Definitely! There are so many factors that go into that decision, and we'd love to spend some time with you sorting through them.
One big thing to think about before our call is the on-call lifestyle required for most birth doulas in private practice. If your life wouldn't allow for you to drop everything and be with a laboring client for 8-48 hours several times a month, birth doula work might not be a good fit for you right now. But if you really want to find a way to attend births without so much unpredictability, there are some options we can talk about together.
Many doulas start with either birth or postpartum services and then expand down the road to offer more to their clients. If you're having trouble deciding which path to start with, let's chat!
I'm pretty sure I want to be a doula, but I'm confused about what to do first. Can you help?
Absolutely! It's very common to feel overwhelmed or confused at this stage, and we're here to help. In an exploration session, we can talk about your options as far as training and/or certification (choosing a training organization could be a phone call in and of itself!), offer resources you might find helpful as you get started, and answer your questions about how to proceed.
It can be really helpful to talk to a real, live, working doula before diving in - we're happy to help!