There are some doulas who are not tied to specific locations. Some doulas are childfree, their children are older, or they have supportive partners with flexible schedules. For some in those situations, they choose an exciting career as a travel doula.
A travel doula works as a birth or postpartum doula while traveling to a variety of locations for their clients. They may offer unique services, such as prenatal education, support, and help setting up the nursery. Often, they will spend longer periods with or near their clients due to the unpredictable nature of birth.
The first step to becoming a travel doula is to get certified. With the International Doula Institute’s unique online platform, we make it easy for you to jump in and start training.
How Do Travel Doulas Work?
Once you become a certified birth doula, certified postpartum doula, or take the complete childbirth professional program, you are ready to jump into travel doula work.
Travel doulas will make connections, advertise all over, and make sure their social circles are aware of what they do. Do not wait until you complete your certification, start networking right away.
Traveling doulas will typically have a calendar set up and will book for chunks of time. So, perhaps they are based in Philadelphia, but they have a client in Florida. They will schedule to be available within a certain period before and after their estimated due date.
For traveling postpartum doulas, the scheduling is sometimes easier. Many traveling doulas will offer both birth and postpartum to their clients. This maximizes the amount of potential income from each client they travel to. Being able to offer multiple services to clients also creates a positive experience of continuity of care.
Once a schedule is set up, a traveling doula books clients in multiple locations. Some will choose to be “stationed” in a specific area for a few months and advertise for clients there. Others will travel specifically to a location requested by a client.
Is Travel Doula Work Sustainable?
Sustainability in doula work varies based on each doula’s needs, work model, and locations. The cost of living in some areas is higher than others. For a childfree or retiree who is choosing travel doula work, it can easily become a sustainable career model.
For those with higher expenses, children, etc., traveling doula work is likely to only represent a small portion of their work. They may take one or two travel doula clients per year. Then, they will take clients close to home to ensure they have a sustainable income.
For those who offer postpartum support, especially overnight and sleep support, scheduling a few several week clients throughout the year is common. These long stretches of continuous support for clients can make scheduling easy while maintaining a sustainable income. Travel doula work is sustainable for many.
How Do You Get Started as a Travel Doula?
As mentioned above, your first step is to get trained and certified. Ideally, you will want to complete both your birth and postpartum doula training. You can also be more in demand by completing additional certifications such as our certified breastfeeding counselor training.
Before you complete your training, get started on your web presence. Get on social media, create content so your followers see all you offer. Present yourself as an expert in all things pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
As you complete your training, continue to network with birth workers near and fair. Plan ahead and see where on your calendar you have time for travel, what fee will make it sustainable for you, and when you will be ready to begin.
Most importantly, do not wait to seek clients. Begin networking as soon as you begin your training. The unique part of IDI’s training is you are prepared to begin taking clients as soon as you finish. There is no long wait.
Ready to turn your passion for birth into a career and an adventure? Start training now and get ready to become a travel doula!