9 Ideas for Expanding Your Birth Work Practice Beyond the Typical Services
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One of the main pieces of advice I give birthworkers who are seeking ways to be financially stable is to diversify your offerings.
You know I care deeply about avoiding burnout while doing work that you are passionate about. Sometimes that means working a part-time job while you are providing doula care, or learning a new skill, and sometimes it means raising your prices so you can lessen your load a little bit. The path will be different for all of us, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Ideas for Expanding Doula Work
This list is a starting point of ideas I’ve come up with over time. It’s my hope that these ideas inspire you to acknowledge gifts, talents, and interests you have outside of the
Tech Support: At BADT, for example, we have folks who help run tech support for live events. If there’s a training organization or reproductive justice company whose work you like, reach out. They may need to fill some tech-related positions! My article about the pros and cons of reproductive justice-focused technology may give you some good places to start from.
Writing: If you enjoy writing, you may like to run other birth or repro-related organizations’ social media, blogs, emails, and so on. Another idea is to write a workbook that you can sell to birthing folks and market with local practices, other doulas, etc.
Virtual doula services: Poppyseed Health is a company that hires “advocates” (aka birth workers) who can offer doula support via text for folks who sign up for their platform. There are other tech-based doula adjacent platforms; find a list of some of my favorites over here! Additionally, many individual doulas offer virtual consultations or one-off planning or processing sessions for birthing people.
Consulting: From providing consulting to companies looking to understand the scope of doula work and incorporate it into their benefits, to mentoring other doulas, to offering workshops for organizations or local medical practices, there is plenty of need for folks to step in with anti-oppressive, values-based offerings.
Teaching: From CBE classes to newborn prep classes to creating your birth preferences to preparing for postpartum, there’s a wealth of topics you might like to teach about. This can happen on the ground or virtually for a larger reach.
Creative work: If you are into graphic design, for example, you may offer website development specifically for birth workers. Maybe you design an affirmation deck for birthing people, support other doulas in creating social media posts, create educational content for other doulas or birthing people, or make t-shirts for doulas to wear. Let the skills and passions you have help inspire your work!
Meal Prep: If you’re into cooking, birthing people could often use help around preparing nutritious meals. You can partner with other doulas whose clients may like to explore an add-on service like meal prep.
Administrative & Operations: With the federal government focusing resources on maternal health outcomes, many organizations are finding it possible to expand departments focusing on maternal health advocacy, and as such, positions are opening up that are often (but not always) remotely accessible and looking for folks with experience in the perinatal health space. Each month, I share job openings that I come across on my substack, so keep an eye out for our monthly Community Share, such as this one from August.
Life Insurance & Estate Planning: As a doula, you are well-positioned to assist families with preparing for the future as you are working with them in a big transition period. If they are on the lookout for someone to provide them with details on life insurance or estate planning, it benefits you to be knowledgeable and have the resources to be that help. Here are a few organizations to get you started:
As you are working through ideas for expanding your business or making shifts, I’ve put together some guides to assist you in your process. My 6 Business Essentials for Birthworkers Workbook, or the self-paced accompanying course, 6 Business Essentials for Birthworkers, are good places to start. I also offer Business Mentoring to help you tailor your offerings, expand your reach, and get in alignment. You can learn more about my mentorship options here.
If you know of any relevant job postings or other ideas for expanding doula work, please share in the comments below!