What does it look like to become a doula? What are some of the birth world’s most pressing issues? In our new series, Ask A DTI Doula, DTI educators and trained doulas will answer some of our community’s questions.
For the third piece in the series, we are proud to share an interview with DTI Doula Educator Jessica Diggs on how to start making money as a doula—and the different mindsets required for birth work and business.
Who: Jessica Diggs (she/her)
“My training to become a birth doula began in 2012. My studies in biology and anthropology from the University of North Carolina ignited my awe of the human body—essentially studying all aspects of humankind at the micro and macro level. The training, my mentors, and my first birth changed my perspective and further fueled my interest in maternity health, childbirth education, and natural practices. In addition to providing support during labor, I am a trained ICEA Childbirth Educator. My goal is to provide evidence-based information and preventive care to the expecting family. In agreement with the ICEA philosophy, I believe in freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in childbirth. My experience as a doula and educator has exposed me to a range of births: unmedicated vaginal births, home births, water births, births with medical assistance, Cesarean births, and vaginal births after previous Cesarean birth (VBAC). More importantly, it has honed my purpose. Drawing on my background, I had aspired to serve birthing people as an OB/GYN dedicated to working with the midwifery and doula community. However, my journey has led me to join alongside the community of midwives. I am now a newly licensed midwife serving the Greater Los Angeles area. It truly has been a whirlwind of adventure from which I am excited and honored to aid in the common goal: to provide a safe, satisfying, and joyous birthing experience for the birthing person, their partner and the baby. Combining my experience as a doula, love for science, passion for supporting women, and heart for community and social justice, my current involvements include: Lead Pregnancy Educator at LOOM, Doula Trainer as a DTI Educator and Licensed Midwife in California.”
Thinking back to my first few referrals turned paychecks as a new doula, the sources were mainly from the following: networking with other doulas, doula registries, being hungry on online posts for doulas, and strategically placed business cards. Eventually, this lead to a budding reputation for exceptional services that started the business and thus, feed me.
At this point, I do very little intentional marketing aside from maintain connections with other birth workers. In doula work, the conventional marketing tools that transition into sales can be helpful when put into context of this very unique industry. Think of some of the components of reproductive work—intimacy, compassion, vulnerability, connection, and competency. Allow these to translate into your marketing “techniques.”
You can reach out to DTI at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and you can also browse our training calendar to learn more! Curious about DTI’s programs? Click here to learn more about becoming a doula through the different programs we offer.