It’s a question we get all the time here at Doula School. When starting out as a doula it’s important to plan out your financial future. Where do you want to be in a year, 5 years, even 10 years you’re your career as a birth worker. Your income as a doula can vary depending on several factors. In today’s post we are going to break down what you need to know.

What is the average hourly rate for a birth doula in the United States?

Using Zip Recruiter we can see that the average hourly rate for a doula in the United States is close to $27 an hour. Not all doula services are charged by the hour however, so this figure is more of an estimate. Additionally, the hourly rate for a postpartum doula working as overnight support can be considerably higher.

Can I work as a doula full-time?

Many birth workers have made a doula career their full-time profession. In that case they will aim for 2-3 births per month. Additionally, they may supplement that income by working as a Lamaze teacher, childbirth educator, prenatal yoga instructor…etc

The nature of doula work also makes it a great option as a “side hustle” or part-time work. Some doulas will only take on a single birth per month, as an additional income source on top of another line of work.

How much would I charge for a birth doula package?

Most birth doulas will offer their services in a package deal that includes 2 prenatal visits, attending the birth, 1 postpartum visit, and ongoing support through phone/text/email. The value of this package can vary between $900 and $1500 depending on where you live.

How does doula work compare to other lines of work?

We researched the average hourly income for a variety of other fields. Things like working as a Paralegal, a Personal Trainer, or a Graphic Designer. In the chart below you can see how the income for a doula compares to these other professions.

What is the hourly rate for a postpartum doula or overnight doula?

A overnight doula is a postpartum doula who will assist parents overnight. This is a key service in helping new parents adjust to having a newborn in the home. The rate for overnight support is higher than for a birth doula, and can range from $30 to $50 per hour.

What overhead costs should I expert as a doula?

Your costs as a doula will vary depending on if you work independently or as part of a larger firm. Some costs to consider are 1) access to transit or a vehicle for visiting clients 2) keeping an up-to-date doula bag 3) continuing education and certificates to stay up-to-date in the field.

Overall, your finances as a doula will have a lot of flexibility. We have seen doulas that only do a couple births a year for friends and family and may earn under $3000 a year. Whereas others have made it their full-time job and earn upwards of $80,000 annually. When you’re starting out, try to find a mentor in the birth world who you can learn from as you set up your career and schedule. All these numbers above are just estimates, your journey will be what you make it 😊.