The Surprising Truth About How Much Do Doulas Really Make

how much do doulas make
Picture of Bere Horthy

Bere Horthy

Doula & Registered Nurse

So, you’re considering a career as a doula? Well, before you ditch your day job, let’s talk about the dough. 

You might be surprised to find out about how much do doulas make and how it can vary depending on the type of doula. 

In this article, we’re going to break down the different types of doulas and reveal the surprising truth about how much do they really make.

Source: The Postpartum Party

The Prenatal Doula: The Early Bird Catches the Worm (and the Money)

You want to be a prenatal doula, huh? Well, get ready to rise and shine because these doulas catch their worm – and their money – early in pregnancy. 

Prenatal doulas work with expectant parents during pregnancy to provide emotional and physical support, answer questions, and prepare them for birth

With all that responsibility, you’d expect them to be raking in the dough, right? 

Well, the truth is, they’re not exactly swimming in it. 

During pregnancy, how much do doulas make?

Some doulas charge per hour, while others offer a package deal

On average, prenatal doulas in the US make around $25-30 per hour, with some charging up to $75 per hour. 

The hourly rate that you charge depends on the services that you offer, your qualifications and your experience.

Where you are located and how many clients you have also makes a big difference

But don’t let those numbers scare you off just yet. 

Prenatal doulas are in high demand, with many parents seeking their services early on in their pregnancy journey. 

So, if you love helping parents-to-be prepare for their big day, this might just be the doula career for you.

The Birth and Labour Doula: More Money, More Problems?

If you’re looking for a doula gig that pays a little more, then maybe becoming a birth and labour doula is the way to go. 

These doulas are in the trenches, supporting women during their labour and delivery. 

They offer emotional and physical support, help with natural pain management techniques, and advocate for their clients in their chosen birth setting.

They are invaluable for families who chose to birth in the hospital. 

It’s a high-pressure job, but one that many doulas find incredibly rewarding.

So, in birth and labour, how much do doulas make? 

On average, a doula in this field can earn anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per birth, with the higher end of that range reserved for those working in big cities or with multiple qualifications and experience. 

Keep in mind, however, that being a birth and labour doula often means being on call 24/7 for several weeks or months leading up to a birth. 

And when the time comes to support mumma-to-be on her journey, your undivided attention is needed for quite a few hours.

That means a lot of early mornings, late nights, and missed social events.

While the pay may be better, being a birth and labour doula isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. 

The job can be physically and emotionally taxing, and doulas may be exposed to traumatic birth experiences. 

Plus, being on call for extended periods of time can be tough on a doula’s personal life. 

So, before you jump into this doula speciality, make sure you weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Source: Kelly Sikkema

The Postpartum Doula: Being the Fairy Godmother Pays Off

Are you someone who loves to clean, cook and cuddle babies? 

Then ‌postpartum doula life may be calling your name. 

Postpartum doulas are like fairy godmothers who swoop in after the birth to offer support to the new mumma, partner and baby. 

They help with breastfeeding, diaper changes, soothing techniques, and general mama care. 

Plus, they’ll do some light housework, meal prep and take care of the new bub and siblings so the parents can get some much-needed rest.

As a postnatal fairy godmother, how much do doulas make? 

On average, postpartum doulas make around $25 to $40 per hour, with some making up to $65 per hour. 

Not too shabby for cuddling babies and making soup, right? 

Plus, many postpartum doulas are able to take on multiple clients per week, which can add up to a pretty decent income.

But it’s not just about the money – postpartum doulas are worth their weight in gold (or at least their hourly rate). 

And they get to have more reasonable hours for those of you who have families of their own or other commitments.

They provide invaluable support to new parents during a vulnerable and often overwhelming time. 

With their help, new parents are able to rest, recover, and bond with their new little one. 

So, if you’re a helper with a heart for new mamas and babies, the postpartum doula life may just be the perfect fit.

The Virtual Doula: Making Money in Your Pyjamas

If you’re someone who prefers to work from the comfort of your own home (pyjamas and all), then the virtual doula gig might be right up your alley. 

A virtual doula provides support to new parents via phone, email, or video chat. 

They can offer advice on everything from pregnancy nutrition to labour positions to breastfeeding. 

And since they’re not physically present, virtual doulas can work with clients from all over the world.

But working virtually, how much do doulas make? 

Well, rates can vary depending on experience and location, but on average virtual doulas make around $50 to $75 per hour. 

Not too shabby for a job that can be done from the comfort of your own home (or bed). 

Plus, virtual doula work can be a great option for those with busy schedules or who live in remote areas. 

No need to worry about travel time or scheduling conflicts – just grab your laptop and get to work.

Source: Ivins

The Death Doula: The Surprising High-Paying Gig You’ve Never Heard Of

But wait, there’s more! 

Have you heard of the death doula

Yes, you read that right. 

This lesser-known doula role provides end-of-life support to individuals and their families. 

They offer emotional and spiritual guidance, as well as practical support like funeral planning and legacy work. 

It may not be the most glamorous job, but it’s an important one.

And get this: death doulas can make some serious cash. 

On average, death doulas can earn anywhere from $150 to $300 per hour. 

That’s right, you could be making bank while helping people through one of the toughest times in their lives.

So why the rise in demand for death doulas? 

As the conversation around death and dying becomes less taboo, more people are seeking out alternative end-of-life options. 

Death doulas offer a personalised and holistic approach to dying, which many find comforting and empowering. 

Plus, the baby boomer generation is ageing, which means more people are nearing the end of their lives and seeking support.

FAQs about doula salary

When it comes to how much do doulas make, there are so many questions that are still unanswered.
I have answered a few of the most common asked frequently asked questions below to help you out.

How much does a holistic doula make?

Holistic doulas are far and few. They are all-rounders who provide support throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. In the United States, a holistic doula can charge anywhere from USD $1,300 to $5,800 depending on the services offered.

How much do doulas make per hour?

The cost of a doula varies depending on the services provided. In the US a prenatal doula charges between USD $20 and $50 per hour, while a birth and labour doula charges between USD $500 and $3,000 per birth. A postnatal doula can charge between USD $25 and $50 per hour or a package fee of USD $1,000 to $3,000, depending on how much help you need.

How much do doulas make in California?

In California, prenatal doulas charge around USD $20 and $50 per hour, while birth and labour doulas can charge between USD $500 and $3,000 per birth. Postnatal doulas in California charge around USD $25 to $50 per hour.

How much do doulas virtual doulas make?

Virtual doulas started to emerge during COVID, when we were forced to move to technology to stay connected and access support. The cost of a virtual doula today can range from USD $20 – $95 per call or for packages, prices can range from USD $480 – $1,300.

How much do doulas make in Australia?

In Australia, prenatal doulas charge around AUD $120 to $850, while birth and labour doulas can charge between AUD $1,200 and $5,000 per birth. Postnatal doulas in Australia charge around AUD $30 to $50 per hour. Packages for postnatal support can start from AUD $200 – $800

How much do doulas make in the UK?

In the UK, prenatal doulas charge around £200 to £1,000, while birth and labour doulas can charge between £600 and £1,000 per birth. Postnatal doulas in the UK charge around £15 to £40 per hour.

It’s not all about the money

Who knew doula work could be so diverse and lucrative? Whether you’re into birth, postpartum, or death, there’s a doula role out there for you.

You can even combine a few roles and become a wholistic doula offering support continuously throughout their pregancy, birth and into the postnatal period.

This gives the mother assurance that they will be supported until the end and helps you form an everlasting relationship with them that will continue even after your services have finished.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a doula or just curious about the salary potential of this field, hopefully, this article has shed some light on how much do doulas make and the different money making opportunities are out there for doulas. 

Just remember, being a doula isn’t all about the money – it’s about supporting and empowering individuals during some of the most important moments of their lives.

Bere Horthy

As a doula and nurse, Bere's mission is to empower and educate women, families, and fellow doulas to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.


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