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How to Set Your Price as a Doula

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

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

As a doula, you want to make sure that you earn enough to cover your costs and make a living while offering clients a competitive price and quality services. Luckily, there are several strategies you can use to determine the best pricing structure for your services.

Flat Rate Packages

Flat rate packages simplify your billing process and make it easier for clients to choose which of your services works best for them. Common flat rate packages include a set number of visits and support, such as two to three visits and your labor and birth, for an all-encompassing price as a birth doula; or for a postpartum doula a set number of hours spread over a set number of weeks.

Many doulas love charging a standard rate because they can:

  • Provide clients with more value without keeping track of every detail.
  • Avoid awkward negotiations before labor.
  • Know the amount their client will pay for the birth experience or postpartum services, making budgeting easier for both parties.

However, flat rate packages can affect how much you make per hour since some clients will require more time than others.

Hourly Rate Services

Hourly rate services allow you to charge based on the hours you spend with your client rather than a singular fee. This is more common for postpartum doulas. This method is excellent for clients who:

  • Don’t know how long they’ll need a doula.
  • Want to budget as they go.
  • Won’t need as much support.
  • Want more flexibility with scheduling.

Many doulas prefer charging by the hour since it allows their income to reflect the time spent with each client. However, a potential challenge of this pricing structure is clarifying to the client exactly how much they will pay by the end of the service.

What Determines a Doula’s Rate?

Doula rates are determined by various factors, such as:

  • Experience: The more births you attend, the better quality services you will offer. Doulas with more experience are in higher demand and can command higher rates.
  • Region: Doulas in areas with a higher cost of living typically charge more for their services.
  • Expenses: Ensure that your fees cover the costs associated with your business, such as gas, phone bills, and equipment.
  • Service Type: Doulas offer various services, from birth preparation to postpartum support, and the length of time spent with clients can vary. Each service has its own price, determining how much you can charge.
  • Training: Every seminar, course, and doula training program is an investment in your career. Doulas with specialized training, such as in water births or lactation, can command higher fees than those without such training.

Learn How to Set Your Doula Fee

Whether you are just starting as a doula or looking to adjust your prices to better reflect your worth, there’s also a self-paced course will walk you through the steps to set your doula fee in a way that supports your business goals and client satisfaction. Enroll in Confidently Set Your Doula Fee today!