Do You Tip a Doula?

Today I was asked about tipping a doula. They wanted to know what was the “norm.” Sometimes folks hear me talk about receiving a tip. We do get tips. Sometimes they come when we have gone outside of what the family thought was good service to excellent service. Sometimes it comes when we have a very long labor. Sometimes it comes when the labor is short and they felt we helped them cope with a fast and furious labor. Sometimes it is when we come a few times to them- false starts or when we have been available for lots of phone calls for days with a prodromal start and stop labor. We are in a service industry and tips are sometimes a part of how families let us know their level of ¬†appreciation.

Tips come in a lot of ways. I have received wonderful cards with the sweetest sentiments, gift cards to favorite restaurants, my favorite chocolate, a new book they thought I would enjoy, a cabin in the mountains rental comped, flowers, an edible arrangement, jewelry and many other items and of course cash. Tips are never expected but are certainly a welcomed surprise. But the best tip a doula can receive is you sharing with your friends about doulas, about her in particular and about our company. So, yes you can tip your doula. But sharing her name with others- sharing with your care provider how much you thought of having her with you, writing a letter of recommendation for this blog or on a facebook page, those are fabulous tips. Sharing pictures that were taken of her “in action” since she is usually the one with the camera, is a fabulous gift! And remembering us is also a wonderful tip- sending us a holiday card with pictures of “our” babies each year, and inviting us back for the next baby is the biggest tip of all! Tips can come in many delightful ways!