The Doula Mentorship Program

Are you a new doula looking for guidance? Would like to establish or strengthen your doula business?

This doula mentoring program is an opportunity to work privately with your own clients under the mentorship of an experienced doula. Designed specifically for birth doulas and spanning 3 to 24 months, it is a mentorship with Deb Rhizal, founder of Pregnancy Arts. Participation in business organization, marketing, and outreach activities is also encouraged, though not required. The mentoring program offers three subjects from which the enrolled participant may choose any number: Birth Doula ClientsBusiness Organization and Marketing, or Outreach.

Benefits for Mentees

  • Affiliation with Deb Rhizal & Pregnancy Arts, respected and established doula practice in Ann Arbor MI. Mentees will have a free profile on the Pregnancy Arts website and an optional email address. Business cards may be purchased.  Care providers may be more comfortable referring to you, and clients may have greater confidence knowing you are working with an experienced doula.
  • Prospective Client Referrals: There is no guarantee of referrals, but an effort will be made to encourage prospective clients to consider Pregnancy Arts mentees.
  • Brainstorming and business advice with an experienced doula and coach.
  • Personal advice, counsel, and coaching as you develop your career.
  • Firsthand experience with the business-side of a successful doula practice.
  • Collaboration on outreach activities to benefit childbearing families.

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Birth Doula Clients

Mentee will be listed on the Pregnancy Arts website as a Mentee. Prospective clients who find the mentee through the website or referral to Pregnancy Arts will interview the mentee along with Deb Rhizal, at which time the nature of the mentorship will be explained to the prospective client. The mentor, Deb Rhizal, is to be paid $100, by the participant, for mentorship through each birth doula package obtained through the Pregnancy Arts website or referrals to Pregnancy Arts or from Deb Rhizal. There are no minimum or maximum birth doula client expectations. Mentees may set their own package fees, to be approved by Deb Rhizal, and the mentor fee is to remain the same regardless of the fee charged for your birth doula package. Clients will pay the mentee directly.

Clients obtained independently of Pregnancy Arts or the mentorship program are NOT required to be included in the mentorship program, though they may be included at the mentee’s discretion. The $100 fee is required for each birth doula package mentored regardless of referral source.

Deb Rhizal’s Role as Mentor

  • Attend interviews with prospective clients, along with the participant, and explain the mentorship program and the mentor’s role to prospective clients. (Note that the mentor fee will be obtained ONLY if the prospective client hires the mentee.)
  • Provide a written description of the Pregnancy Arts mentorship program and services of the mentor.
  • Help the intern plan for prenatal and postpartum meetings based on the needs the client expresses during the interview and follow-up with the intern.
  • Review each meeting with the intern to clarify what went well and if there are additional client needs.
  • Be available to both the intern and the client for phone consultation throughout pregnancy and for 6 weeks postpartum. Clients will be encouraged to contact the intern unless they feel that they need further assistance.
  • Be available for phone consultation for the mentee or her back-up doula throughout the birth.
  • Review each birth to clarify what went well, what tools were utilized, review questions, and discuss postpartum needs of the client.
  • Be available for additional client sessions, before or after birth, for an additional fee of $65 per session to be paid by the client or the mentee at the mentee’s discretion. Mentee’s are always welcome at all sessions.
  • Review written materials developed or modified by the mentee, and approve all materials identified with Pregnancy Arts.

The Mentee’s Role

  • Attend interviews with prospective mentee clients, answer client questions, and explain personal experience, skills and services.
  • Provide written client materials and a contract for services.
  • Conduct a minimum of one prenatal and one postpartum meeting with the client, attendance at their birth, and phone and email support throughout pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum.

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Business Organization and Marketing

Mentee will work at Deb’s office, located in SE Ann Arbor, for a minimum of 8 hours per month. Scheduling is flexible and the intent is that Deb Rhizal will be present during these hours. There is no fee for business organization and marketing mentoring. Rather, the work completed is considered a voluntary exchange for the skills and insights learned in the course of work.

Working together gives the participant opportunity to learn about the business side of a doula practice, and it is Deb’s intention that while the tasks will benefit Pregnancy Arts, there will be an educational nature to the working time lending valuable experience to the participant. Tasks will include filing, organization, record keeping, accounting, and additional tasks related to managing a birth doula and childbirth education business.

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Many birth doulas enhance their communities through programs which educate or nurture families during the childbearing year. There is no fee for any mentoring related to outreach. Outreach ventures are considered volunteer efforts. Profits, if any, will be retained by Pregnancy Arts. If deemed appropriate the mentee may be hired as an independent contractor for a specific outreach project.

Mentees are encouraged to contribute to outreach in one of the following ways:

  • A minimum of 8 hours a month of contribution to projects being developed by Deb Rhizal at Pregnancy Arts. This work would be carried out independently by the participant in their own time and space, and should be considered volunteer work for the broader good of the childbearing families. Deb Rhizal would provide instruction and review.
  • Development, coordination, and/or leadership of a new program or materials to be offered through Pregnancy Arts. Your own ideas are welcome! All programs or projects affiliated with Pregnancy Arts must be approved by Deb Rhizal. Premises liability will be covered by Pregnancy Arts if applicable, and fees, if any, will be paid to Pregnancy Arts.  Deb Rhizal would provide project coaching and review.

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Opportunities for Advancement

There is no implication intended that mentees may become employees of or partners in Preganancy Arts. The intention of the mentorship is to facilitate the career development of the mentee. That being said, mentees who exhibit exceptional skills and who are interested in further collaboration after the completion of their mentorship are welcome to apply for any open positions at Pregnancy Arts or inquire about employment, contract work, or partnership. Mentorship is NOT a requirement for employment, contract work, or partnership with Pregnancy Arts.

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  • Completion of a birth doula training program or documentation of considerable self-education.
  • A minimal commitment of three months, though longer is recommended, up to two years. Mentees may commit to one aspect of the mentorship program (Birth Doula Clients, Business Organization and Marketing, or Outreach) two, or all three. Both mentor and mentee will have the opportunity at three months to evaluate the mentorship, and both are free to discontinue at that time or with three months notice from that point forward.

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Application Process

  1. Submit the following information to
    • Your name and contact information.
    • A story about how you became interested in doula work and your personal vision for doula work now and in the future.
    • Details about the type of families you most want to work with and personal attributes that will make you a great doula for these particular people.
    • Where and when you received your doula training, any birth experience you have, and any additional relevant skills.
    • Why you are interested in a mentor.
  2. Deb Rhizal will review your information and contact you for a phone or in-person interview and discussion of the time frame and content of the mentorship.
  3. Deb will present you with a contract outlining the time frame and content of the mentorship and expectations for both mentor and mentee.
  4. You will be asked to sign the contract, a confidentiality agreement, and a non-disclosure agreement.

Any interested mentees who are not accepted into the Pregnancy Arts Birth Doula Mentorship Program may hire Deb Rhizal as a private mentor or business coach. Please see doula business coaching for more information.

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For Healthy, Happy, Families