Last winter I did a gift guide for doulas, but as I researched it I found many options that would be good for doulas to *give* as well! So here is my list of potential client gifts you could use as part of your practice.
Should you give a gift at all?
First, let’s talk about “gifting” in the first place. I personally don’t believe that gifting is necessary. Think carefully about what your motivation for the gift. Are you hoping it will be a marketing tool? If so, something with your logo on it is probably best. Are you hoping it will be something that helps them remember you fondly? Something handmade and unique might be just the ticket. If you want to make life with a new baby easier, something practical makes the most sense.
Legally speaking, anything you do as part of your regular and routine services is probably not considered a “gift” at all. In some places, this might impact whether or not your whole package is subject to sales taxes, so look at that carefully as part of your decision.
Either way, you should factor the cost of the item in your pricing. How much you spend is up to you, but you do want to make it be something worth using, but not something that breaks the bank.
Gift with the package up front, or parting gift?
Sometimes the “gift” item is given up front at the beginning of the service. Sometimes it’s it parting gift at the end. Either way can work, but again, be conscious about the timing. If it is item intended to be used during the course of your services, give it earlier. If it’s not, consider making it a nice surprise at the end.
Ideas for all doulas
A book for the baby is a common one that always fits and can be useful for a long time. Some common titles include
- On the day you were Born
- I’ll Love You Forever
- Goodnight Moon
Another common one is a custom onesie, burp cloth or hooded towel with your business logo on it.
Craftier doulas might knit or crochet a blanket for the baby.
A meal or baked goods in another common one. Be aware if including home cooked goods in your professional services means
Ideas for birth doulas
Some birth doulas include a birth ball, a water bottle, or some recommended reading as an up front part of the package. Usually these are designed to be used at the birth, rather than afterwards.
A written timeline of the birth, or a more fleshed out birth story, is another common one. I know a doula who gives a blank journal with some prompts so the parents can record their own birth story and other things about the baby’s first year.
Ideas for postpartum doulas
An herbal bath, or scented epsom salt bath, can be a good up front gift. As a postpartum doula, you can facilitate the parent having time (and a clean tub!) to take the bath.
You can leave your client with a small personalized booklet of the recipes for meals you made while there, and any postpartum tips you want them to remember. You could include a resource list and have some space in the back to add things specific to this client. It can be printed and bound at a local print shop for not too much money.