Our bigger vision with Tucson Doulas

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller


doula agency tucsonThe Agency Model of Tucson Doulas

When we were developing Tucson Doulas, we thought carefully about the financial sustainability of this business even though in our profession that often receives the least attention.  For us, our work puts food on our family’s table and allows us to pay our bills.  We have set our fees to make what we do financially sustaining for our families and the families of the professionals who sub-contract with us.  We both had well-established individual practices, with long-standing relationships and experience in the Tucson birth community and have seen many birth professionals come and go as a result of being unable to run successful businesses, or maintain the rigorous lifestyle that life on-call demands.  We know that our community will be better served and supported when there are MANY great birth professionals out there, not burning out and leaving behind their passion for this work because they couldn’t make a paycheck.  We recognize the value of the services we provide, and believe that it will be available for more women in our community when doulas can just be doulas without the pressure of all the other “stuff” involved in an independent practice.  In order to make that worthwhile, we knew that we had to create something that would benefit our subcontractors as well as our clients.


The Benefits For Our Team and Clients

The agency model allows our doulas and placenta specialists to focus only on their clients.  They don’t have to worry about running a business, so they can put all of their attention on the part they love most: Serving women and their families.  Under our model, clients get birth professionals who are excited and refreshed and supported 100% by us, so they can extend that to their clients.  Our birth doulas work in teams so that it is a sustainable workload for them, and we charge a rate that is reasonable to the client, but also allows us to pay our doulas a living/sustainable wage.  For just a little more than the going rate for a birth doula in solo practice, the client gets TWO experienced and certified doulas available to her from the moment she contracts with us.  Our postpartum doulas, placenta specialists, and massage therapists are all paid at or above the local market rate, and we are proud that they make above our State’s living wage guidelines (and more than DOUBLE our states minimum wage).  Since we have a crystal clear business structure our subcontractors know what to expect, and our clients get the very best every time.  Our clients know that their doula or specialist has support and accountability, and have the assurance that they have chosen to hire a top-notch professional team to walk with them through this amazing time in their lives.

tucson doulasThe “Why” Behind it All – Desert Doulas

Angela and I both LOVE what we do, and have hearts for serving women and our community.  It’s what both of us have done for our entire adult lives.  It’s why Tucson Doulas is even a reality now.  We both recognized that in order to serve the community in the big ways we dreamed, we needed to have a financially sustainable and profitable business model to feed into our community-based passions.  How many more people can we serve when we have a fully functional, fully FUNDED non-profit (Desert Doulas)?  Short answer: A TON more!  We are limited when we’re relying on our own individual finances and efforts.  But by creating a profitable business we’ll be able to give back in huge ways to the community through Desert Doulas.  Instead of helping one or two moms here or there and as resources allow, we can help many moms on a regular basis.  THAT is our bigger vision, and everything we do with Tucson Doulas is moving us closer toward achieving that goal.


Our Big Goals

Every aspect of our business plan was carefully considered and crafted to work toward two goals –
1. To serve other birth workers in our community.  By creating an agency where birth professionals can do what they love and not burn out (getting paid sustainable wages, working reasonable hours, not having to handle the business side of things if they don’t want, etc) we’re making it possible for more women to do this work long-term, support their families, and focus on the part of birth work they love – Working with clients.

2. To serve other women in our community.  We love our clients!  But we see women and families who need us but are not in a situation where they can afford us.  We care deeply about them too!  With a financially stable, sustainable, and profitable agency we’ll be able to funnel resources and acquire the funding needed to fuel Desert Doulas as a non-profit and serve more families than ever before.  We specifically want to be able to provide childbirth education and doula services to the refugee community and teen moms, and as resources allow we’ll expand from there. Each client who hires Tucson Doulas plays a part in providing these amazing services to women who otherwise may not be able to afford the type of support and expertise we offer.



The bottom line: We have a heart for serving women in our community and have much bigger dreams than what we can achieve independently. By working together we can see our vision become reality.  We are so proud of both Tucson Doulas and Desert Doulas and know there are big things in store for the Tucson birth community.

4 Responses

  1. Elisabeth Lighty
    | Reply

    Such a strong, clear vision.

  2. Elizabeth Luke
    | Reply

    Without big goals you can never reach them! Great job!

  3. Sara
    | Reply

    Tucson Doulas obviously has high standards of excellence and professionalism. Love it!

  4. Mary
    | Reply

    Thank you for this post. I have been thinking about the pros and cons of partnerships recently, and this post demonstrates a clear bottom line. Your clients are lucky to have you!

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