On making money as a doula

Doulas and mamas, we need to do better.

I found this compelling infographic over at SnapKnot.com which detailed the hidden costs and work wedding photographers do for each bride that hires them.

The 20% taxes are based on a charge of $3200, which is entirely within line of what a wedding photographer charges, though probably high in our area.  Most websites tell budgeting brides to set aside 12% of their budget for photography. I was enlightened by the prep work that goes into the recording of such an important event by a professional photographer. I had no idea they spent that much time per client. I figured they slapped a few images on a disk and that was it.

It occurred to me that people underrate and undervalue what we do as doulas and the time we spend with clients.  Further, I am guilty, as a doula myself, for undervaluing what I do.  We have to change the perception of our worth — to ourselves and our potential market.

Here’s a comparative infographic for doula work:

Doula Costs

If I were to charge $1000 per client, I would only be netting $500.  And guess what?  I charge less than $1000.  Sure, I may make more if a labor goes quickly.  But when a labor is long, I am out of commission for at least 12 hours after I get home, and I make less money overall.

I argue that a doula supporting you during the birth of your child is just as important as capturing the memories of your wedding day.


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