Ask A Doula: Parent Question

Today’s question comes from a parent who is using the services of a postpartum doula and isn’t sure how to handle an awkward situation. While I hope the advice is useful to her, I also hope that professional doulas will carefully consider how they handle any upselling and cross promotional work they do to avoid situations like this.

I had my baby three weeks ago, and I am mostly really happy with the postpartum doula I hired. She’s really helpful and makes me feel like a good mom, plus she’s a really good cook! There’s one problem, though. She is also a distributor of essential oils. When I was hiring her, I really liked that she could use them when working with me. And she does have some great products! I’ve even bought a set of oils from her to use after she’s done being my doula. But here’s the problem: She really, really wants to sign me up on her team and have me start selling the oils in her downline, too. As much as I love having her come and take care of me, I’m starting to dread the pitches about being my own boss and having financial freedom. Help me figure out what to say to get her to stop!

Aurora, California

What a tricky situation! I’m not a fan of MLM structured businesses for just this reason. In this context, where she is supposed to be caring for you and your new baby, it should not be happening at all. Have you been very direct with her to stop asking? Some people are just not good at picking up on hints, and if you’ve not actually asked her to stop discussing it with you, that would be your first step. If she brings it up again, immediately remind her that she’s already asked you about it, and you’ve said no. Then say something like “I’m not going to change my mind, and you’re making me uncomfortable by asking me repeatedly. Please don’t ask me again.”

If that’s hard for you to do in person, consider sending it in a text immediately after the shift where she approached you again.

If you’ve already been very direct about not asking you again, then maybe it’s time to tell her you need to find another postpartum doula to care for you.

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