Many doulas have a practice of gifting their clients something as they end their time together. Others don’t do this at all. Over the years as a practicing doula, I have oscillated from providing a little parting gift for my clients to not gifting anything at all. Going back and forth on this practice every so often, I have consistently gifted “On the Day You Were Born” by Debbie Frasier, “The First 1000 Days – A Baby Journal” by one of my favorite artists, Nikki McClure and “Pat the Bunny” by Dorothy Kumhardt.

In the age of Marie Kondo and her philosophy of KonMari and the Joy of Tidying Up, one can wonder are people more likely to want less “stuff” in their homes? Do they appreciate our little thank you gifts? Do they save it? Quickly pass it on? Treasure it?

Many DONA International doulas give something to every client, here are a few of their ideas.

Christa Joy Kirtland, CD(DONA) gifts her clients Lush brand shower bombs. Christa finds that the products contain many natural ingredients, are not too expensive and the bombs encourage self-care in her clients. She reports that her clients are surprised and excited to receive them and look forward to using them.

Susan Young, CD/PCD(DONA), LMT, ICCE says that she often gives her birth clients a book for their baby. Susan likes board books about trucks, transportation, and travel in particular. She brings the wrapped book to the birth and gives it to the family at an appropriate time. Sometimes they open it then and sometimes later at home. Cost is usually less than $10. For her postpartum doula clients (ones she has seen for several visits), Susan likes to give them a small gift of trial size lotions from Biotone. The lotions have essential oils blended in and are labeled Calm, Bliss, Energy, Serenity, and Renewal.
Joyce Dykema, MS, CD(DONA), HCHD gives a gift for baby and a gift for the birth giver at her final postpartum visit. Right now, her current book is a board book to baby titled Animal Noises, $4.99, and a Hanza Beauty bath bomb to the birthing person. ($16.99/8).
Adriana Lozada, AdvCD(DONA), CSC, CEMC, CBP gives her clients a written timeline of their experience, so they can use it as a skeleton when writing their own story. She prints it out on cardstock and format it so that doubles as a keepsake. Adriana often also tend to gift them a uterus pin from I Heart Guts, and a packet of postpartum bath herbs from Hawthorne & Poppy (a local herbalist -not online). In the past, she has also handmade baby legwarmers and crocheted amigurumis, but has less time now for the handmade items. Adriana also likes the fact that she has shifted the focus to gifts for the birthing person rather than the baby.
Holly McNicol, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), LCCE gifts her birth clients the book “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman. She says the story is lovely, the art is spectacular and it is meaningful for her as she was with them on the night they were born.  She usually buys this book in her local small independent booksellers for $10.95 CDN. If the clients are experienced parents, she usually gives another of Tillman’s books for the sibling(s) or anything Sandra Boyton! She loves books and loves reading to little babies. Holly believes that this is such a nice foundation in reading and literacy! Plus she encourages the parents to start reading now as babies LOVE the sound(s) of their voices.

Diana Zacharin, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), HBCE gifts a baby hooded towel with her doula business logo embroidered on it. Diana wants to give something they will use and enjoy. Its big enough so they can keep using it for a few years!  The cost for the product is around $16, and she purchased them through an embroidery service company.



Hillary Melchiors, PhD, MPH, LCCE, CD(DONA) gifts her clients a burp cloth with her logo embroidered on it. It is something practical they will use for a long time, sometimes even after babies are grown, and Hillary likes giving them something useful. The cloths cost her around $7 each, and she has a local friend who makes them in her home embroidery business for her. 


From a smart business sense, gifting clients a branded product that keeps your name in front of them would be a good idea. Something like a water bottle or a branded piece of clothing, or the towel or burp cloth above reminds them that you are still out there and maybe they would be more likely to make referrals. You can also consider gifting clients something they can use at their birth,   providing it to them at the time they sign a contract and retain your services.

So here’s the question; do you gift your clients anything when you part ways? If so, what do you give and why?   If not, why not? Let’s learn from one another.