How Six Transformative Books Can Elevate Your Doula Business
Six books covers

In the heart of every doula’s business lies the desire to make a profound difference. Whether it’s through the gentle guidance during labor or the business decisions we make to reach and support more families, every step we take is a step towards a more nurturing birth experience. In the vast sea of resources, I have curated a list of six books that are more than just reads; they are tools for transformation. 

These books have been chosen for their ability to resonate with the core of what we do, providing a blend of emotional intelligence, business savvy, and the art of support that can elevate your doula business to new heights. Let’s explore these literary companions that can become your stepping stones to making a greater impact in your practice.

You can read them all or pick the ones that speak to you. While these do contain affiliate links, you can also grab them at a library to check them out for yourself or borrow from another doula!

  1. “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

Understanding your ‘why’ is the cornerstone of a purpose-driven business. Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” inspires us to lead with our purpose, which is especially meaningful in a field as intimate and impactful as doula work. This book will help you articulate your mission, connect more deeply with your clients, and stand out in a competitive market. This is something that so many doulas feel in their hearts but struggle to put it into words. This is something that will transform how you talk about the work you do whether it’s at a baby fair, an interview, or in your elevator speech.

  1. “Simkin’s Labor Progress Handbook” Edited by Lisa Hanson, Emily Malloy, Penny Simkin

A doula’s expertise in the birth process is vital. “Simkin’s Labor Progress Handbook” is an essential read for practical strategies to support labor progress. This book will not only refine your skills but also reassure your clients of your invaluable support during childbirth. It focuses on preventing labor stalls or dealing with them as they come up. You can certainly read it cover to cover, but it’s often used as a look it up at the moment book.

  1. “Medical Bondage” by Deirdre Cooper Owens

In the pursuit of becoming a culturally competent and empathetic doula, “Medical Bondage” opens a crucial dialogue about the history of gynecology and its impact on birthers of color. Reading this will inform your practice and ensure you offer inclusive, respectful care to all clients. It will also help you understand the systemic racism and issues that are often hidden until you look at the system differently.

  1. “Worth Every Penny” by Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck

As doulas, we know the value of personalized care. “Worth Every Penny” teaches you how to build a doula business that thrives on its uniqueness and quality of service. This book is a guide to creating a brand that resonates with the clients who will appreciate and invest in your exceptional service. It, most importantly, will help you understand why you deserve to make a reasonable living at what you do.

  1. “Supporting Survivors of Sexual Abuse Through Pregnancy and Childbirth” by Kicki Hansard

A doula’s role is not just physical support but emotional and psychological as well. This powerful book equips you with the knowledge to sensitively and effectively support survivors of sexual abuse. Integrating these lessons will be transformative for your practice and for the lives of the clients you serve. This includes a foreword by Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus, the authors of When Survivors Give Birth.

  1. “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Efficiency and goal-setting are key in running a successful business. “The 12 Week Year” offers a revolutionary framework for achieving more in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months. Adopting this approach can lead to significant growth and progress in your doula business by helping you focus on the goals you have with a focus that is close enough to make it work and help you gain momentum and build on your successes.

Each of these books offers valuable insights that can help you refine your practice, connect with clients, and grow your business. By incorporating the knowledge and strategies from these reads, you’re not just turning pages; you’re turning new chapters in your professional journey.

Remember, as a doula, you are in the business of change – changing how births are experienced and how parents are supported. And with every step forward you take in your business acumen, you make a larger impact on the lives of the families you touch.



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