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5 Ways to Maintain Healthy Boundaries with Doula Clients

Picture of Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

As a doula, you have the opportunity to help your clients through some of the most challenging and beautiful moments of their lives. However, to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you must also set boundaries. At 100% Doula, we aim to equip doulas like yourself with the tools and skills to thrive. Read more from our blog to learn about doula training opportunities and navigating the doula business world!

1. Detail Expectations in Writing

After a successful doula interview and client onboarding, provide your client with a contract defining their roles, responsibilities, and yours. This document will protect both parties in case of misunderstandings or disagreements during your interactions.

2. Be Direct with Your Client

Remember, you are human and have other responsibilities. If a client starts blurring the line between personal and professional, gently let them know that while you appreciate their openness, maintaining a strictly professional relationship ensures each client receives proper care and prevents you from feeling over-extended.

3. Offer Alternatives to Meet Their Needs

It’s natural to want to help everyone, but sometimes the best way to support your clients is to direct them to other resources. If your clients ask for more than you’re comfortable providing, suggest local mom groups or specialists to ensure they get the assistance they need without overburdening yourself.

4. Unplug from Work

Everyone needs time away from work. It’s essential to take breaks from your doula clients or focus on other aspects of your life to avoid burnout. While providing support is important, don’t pressure yourself to do more than is healthy for you, your business, your family, or your clients.

5. Decline Services or Cut Contact

Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to decline services or cut contact. Some people may try to take advantage of your generosity, but many great clients will respect you and value your services.

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