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Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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Postpartum Doula Salary

Postpartum Doula Salary


Are you curious about what a postpartum doula earns? You’re not alone. Demand for these crucial caregivers is climbing, promising a fulfilling career path. Rest assured, you’ve just discovered the ultimate guide to navigating the financial landscape of postpartum doulas. Ready? Let’s begin!

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Postpartum Doula Salary per Hour

If you’re considering a career as a postpartum doula, understanding your potential hourly earnings is crucial. In major cities like San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York, postpartum doulas can earn between $35 and $65 per hour, translating to annual earnings of approximately $72,800 to $135,200, assuming a 40-hour workweek. These rates reflect the higher cost of living in these areas as well as the greater demand for doula services.

Salaries vary significantly based on experience and location. For instance, newer doulas typically start at the lower end of the pay scale, while those with extensive experience and strong client referrals can demand higher rates. In cities with a lower cost of living such as Cincinnati, San Diego, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Austin, the hourly rate drops to about $35 to $45, which could equate to annual earnings of $72,800 to $93,600.

In smaller towns, where both the cost of living and the demand may be lower, rates range from $25 to $35 per hour, potentially yielding $52,000 to $72,800 annually. This geographic variation highlights the importance of location in determining a doula’s salary, reflecting the broader economic environment of each area.

Full Spectrum Doula Salary

A full spectrum doula supports clients through all stages of maternity—not just postpartum—covering prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. This comprehensive care model often allows full spectrum doulas to command higher fees, as they offer more extensive services than those specializing only in postpartum support. In high-cost urban areas, where full spectrum doulas might earn $35 to $65 per hour like their postpartum counterparts, annual incomes can reach between $72,800 and $135,200, depending on the number of clients and services provided.

The breadth of services and the ability to cater to clients from pre-conception through postpartum allows for increased earning potential. This is especially true for full spectrum doulas, who can provide continuous care and support, enhancing their value to families and potentially leading to higher earnings.

The variability in salaries is influenced by the same factors affecting postpartum doulas: geographic location, experience, and the doula’s ability to meet client needs comprehensively. By offering a more holistic range of services, full spectrum doulas enhance their value to families, often resulting in a higher earning potential compared to those specializing solely in one phase of maternity care. This multifaceted approach can attract a broader client base and secure a more substantial income stream.

Postpartum Doula Training

Starting your career as a postpartum doula begins with comprehensive training designed to equip you with the necessary skills to support new mothers and their families. Training typically covers a range of key skills including infant care, breastfeeding support, postnatal nutrition, and emotional and physical recovery methods for mothers. Additionally, effective communication skills and an understanding of family dynamics are emphasized to facilitate better interactions and provide tailored care.

The duration and format of postpartum doula training programs can vary. Most courses range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the intensity and depth of the curriculum. Training can be found through various formats, including online courses, in-person workshops, and extended seminars, making it accessible to a wide range of aspiring doulas. Some programs also include hands-on practice or mentorship components to enhance learning and preparedness for real-world scenarios.

Postpartum Doula Certification

Achieving certification as a postpartum doula is a crucial step in establishing credibility and trust with potential clients and employers. The certification process typically involves completing a specified amount of training through a recognized program, gaining practical experience under supervision, and passing a certification exam. This process ensures that doulas are well-equipped to provide knowledgeable and sensitive care to new mothers and their families.

Certification not only bolsters a doula’s qualifications but also significantly enhances their professional standing, making it easier to gain employment or attract private clients. It serves as a testament to their commitment and expertise in the field, which is particularly important in building trust with new parents.

Aspiring doulas can obtain certification through various national and international organizations dedicated to doula training and standards. These include the DONA International, CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association), and ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association). Each organization has its specific requirements and courses, so it’s important to research and choose one that aligns with your career goals and values.

Postpartum Doula or Certified Sleep Consultant?

If you’re already exploring a career as a postpartum doula, you might also consider the complementary role of a Certified Sleep Consultant. Both professions share a common goal: to support families during crucial times. However, becoming a Certified Sleep Consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management could extend your professional reach and significantly enhance your business opportunities.

At CPSM, the Sleep Consultant Certification Course is tailored for postpartum professionals seeking to add valuable skills to their portfolio. This course offers a robust curriculum that covers various sleep training techniques and a client-led approach, allowing you to support families in establishing healthy and independent sleep habits for their children. Unlike many programs, CPSM doesn’t limit you to one methodology but equips you with a range from gentle methods to more structured techniques, ensuring you can meet the diverse needs of families.

Additionally, the virtual model of service delivery taught at CPSM means you can offer support to families not just locally but across any geographic region. This flexibility enhances your ability to scale your business and increase your income, even if you are already fully booked with hourly postpartum work. With potential earnings ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 per month, depending on your engagement level, sleep consulting can be a lucrative addition to your services. Discover more on our course page!

How to Become a Doula

Becoming a doula involves a series of purposeful steps, starting with education and culminating in certification. The initial step is to enroll in a comprehensive training program that covers essential aspects of childbirth, postpartum care, and client support. These programs will include both theoretical knowledge and practical skills development.

After completing the necessary training, the next step is to obtain certification from a recognized organization like DONA International, CAPPA, or ICEA. Certification typically requires passing an exam and submitting documentation of hands-on experience.

When choosing your path as a doula, consider whether you want to work full-time or part-time, as well as any specialties you might pursue, such as labor or postpartum doula services. Each choice impacts the type of training and the extent of commitment required.


Choosing to become a postpartum doula offers the rewarding opportunity to support families during one of their most transformative phases. Proper training and certification are essential, not only for credibility but also for providing the highest level of care. This career path not only promises financial stability but also deep personal fulfillment as you make a significant impact on the lives of new parents and infants!

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People Also Ask:

Where do postpartum doulas make the most money?

Postpartum doulas tend to earn the most in large metropolitan areas with high costs of living, such as San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

How many hours does a postpartum doula work?

A postpartum doula’s hours can vary widely based on client needs and contracts, but they typically work part-time, ranging from a few hours per day to overnight shifts.

What are the benefits of being a postpartum doula?

Benefits include the emotional fulfillment of supporting families, flexible working hours, the ability to make a positive impact during a critical period of family adjustment, and the potential for continuous learning and professional growth.

Is it hard to make money as a doula?

Earning potential as a doula can vary. Success depends on factors like location, experience, networking, and the ability to market one’s services effectively. While it can be challenging, many find it rewarding and sustainable.

What is the difference between a nurse and a postpartum doula?

A nurse provides medical care and has medical training, often seen in clinical settings. In contrast, a postpartum doula offers non-medical support, focusing on comfort, education, and assistance with newborn care and family adjustment.

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a birth doula?

A birth doula provides support during labor and delivery, focusing on the childbirth experience. A postpartum doula assists families after childbirth, helping with newborn care, mother recovery, and family support.

What are the disadvantages of a doula?

Challenges can include irregular hours, emotional demands of the job, potential for unpredictable income, and the need for continual professional development to maintain relevance and expertise.

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