Doulas guide women through the experience of giving birth and the postpartum period. Most are self-employed. Doulas can take classes to become certified on the childbirth process and the emotional and physical needs of women during labor and birth, although they're not required to. How much a doula earns will depend on the number of women she assists during the year.
What Doulas Earn
Doulas often charge a flat fee for their services, which include visits before the birth and her presence during your labor and the birth of your child. A doula may make several home visits after your baby is born. Insurance generally doesn't cover the cost of a doula, who may charge anywhere from $300 to $1,500 for her services. The average salary for a doula in the United States is $45,000- $50,000, according to the website, "How to Become a Doula." However, this average is skewed by doulas who make considerably more than the average amount, the website states. Doulas who work in large cities where they are in demand may charge more, Childbirth International reports. Doulas who specialize in postpartum, or assistance after childbirth, charge $10 to $35 an hour.
Because doulas are not professional medical personnel, they do not have to be certified. Having a certified doula can give you peace of mind about her knowledge base, however. Several organizations offer certification courses; DONA International requires 16 hours of coursework as well as required reading and classes in breastfeeding. Childbirth International states its certification program takes three to seven months to complete and costs approximately $495.