It’s clear that balanced and thriving birth and postpartum professionals are lacking in our communities right now. Burnout is more common than ever, and many continue to struggle to make a full time living. These are your signs that something needs to change. To help mothers and families and thrive as a professional in this field, it begins with showing up for yourself.
In today’s episode, we’re talking to Kyleigh Banks AKA the Autonomy Mommy about building a sustainable and authentic business that grows with you and your family.
If you’re a professional wanting to learn about going virtual, making what you’re worth, and creating a lasting impact, then this is our gift to you.
Where to find Kyleigh Banks AKA the Autonomy Mommy:
In this episode, we are sharing:
- Showing up for yourself before showing up for your birth business
- The necessity of virtual work in the birth and postpartum world
- Burnout is your sign that something NEEDS to change
- Using your intuition as a birth worker
- How to make a living and stop playing small
- Self worth, sustainability, and getting paid
- A world wide, lasting impact
Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast where we support you and your provider in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, your postpartum nutrition specialist, and homesteading mom with four wild kids. It’s time to get you the holistic, whole body healing that works. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast. And I have an incredible guest, as always. I always have incredible guests, you guys. Kyleigh Banks is here, though. She’s like super incredible. And she is a birth nerd who teaches other birth nerds how to be incredibly successful in their doula business. So whether you are a doula, a midwife, a chiropractor, a pelvic floor physical therapist, I’m telling you, listen into this conversation because it is going to make a lasting impact on you and the world. So Kyleigh, welcome.
Kyleigh: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to talk birth and business and building a sustainable and authentic business because that’s really important. If we post our more moms, we have to start with ourselves.
Maranda: No kidding, right? I think that’s so important. I’m so glad that you started that right off the bat. Because so often we forget about ourselves or we use our own birth business. I know if you’ve listened to me long enough, you’ve probably heard me say this over and over again. We use our birth business to heal the trauma that we’ve had in motherhood. And if that’s you, burnout, lack of self-care, self-worth, that’s all going to come roaring up at you in your business. But before we even get there, tell us, how did you get started in the doula and business world?
Kyleigh: Yeah. So I started as a birth doula myself. I started as a birth doula before I even got pregnant. When I had the idea of like, okay, I actually let’s try and start trying to conceive. Let’s try and make a baby. I got really into listening to birth podcasts. And the very first time I heard the word doula, it was like, uh, a huge light bulb moment for me and the fire in my soul was lit. And I was like, Oh, okay. That’s what I’ve meant to do in my life is be a doula. I had always thought I’d be like some sort of life coach or fitness coach or spiritual coach or whatever. And it’s funny because I found the doula role and you kind of incorporate all of the above in the doula role. And not only do you incorporate that just for like some everyday life stuff. No, you incorporate it and throw in birth, which is like one of the most transformational journeys that, you know, most people in the world go through. So I was a birth doula and I fell in love with the business side of it too. So I grew my business on Instagram and in Southwest Florida where I am. So I always worked virtually and in person. And the reason that I started working virtually from the very beginning also was that I was soon pregnant and I was going to have my daughter. And I was like, I don’t really want to be on call when I have a newborn, but I have a mortgage to pay. I love birth and I need to figure out a way to actually make this happen. Cause I don’t want to go back to work for anyone else and I can’t be on call right now. So what am I going to do? And so what I did is I really just hit the ground running and fell in love with the business side. So I grew my Instagram, I started my own podcast, I created online resources and virtual workshops and all of those things. And it just kind of snowballed from there. And it got to a point where I had a lot of doulas actually in my audience reaching out to me saying, Hey, like I want to do what you’re doing. Can you teach me? So I started off teaching birth classes. My niche in birth is autonomous birth. So not necessarily home birth, but a lot of people who choose to work with me do have home births, but it’s more like I want to be in charge of my own experience. I don’t want anyone to touch me. I just want to give birth to my baby. So that’s my niche when it comes to birth. But now I also added on mentoring other doulas. So I have the Birth Worker Academy, which is essentially a comprehensive doula training program plus a business mentorship. And I run that. And so I run that alongside my birth courses. So I’m obsessed with birth and equally obsessed with business. I love this so much. And it reminds me of my own journey because I started off as a doula and a childbirth educator in the fields.
And as I had more kids, things had shifted dramatically. I actually ended up running a product store. I had my own herbal products that I was creating and making and selling. And I absolutely love doing all of that. But I swear each and every kid, I slowly started selling off that part of my business or I stopped doing that and transformed completely online. And I know with the whole COVID situation and everything, people who have these in-person practices. So if you’re listening in and you’re a chiropractor, a physical therapist, or a midwife, and you have these in-person practices, so many of us were looking at how do we transform at least some of the work that we’re doing into the online space. And if you’re thinking that, I will tell you, you’re absolutely not alone. And there is so much more that we could provide by being in the online space. Like it’s not everything in the birth and postpartum world. We do need that one-on-one physical touch and care. But there is another side of it that we can also use to our advantage to support even more people and support ourselves, which is often a very missing factor in all of this. Let’s talk about burnout and lack of self-care and really the lack of pay. That I see for people in the birth world. Can you share your wisdom on this topic?
Maranda: You nailed it. Everything that you said about your lifestyle changing when you had children and the more children you had, the more your lifestyle changed and you needed to find a way to make it work. That is really, really powerful.
Kyleigh: Even if someone’s listening to this and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to work online. I only want to work in person.” I’m telling you your life will change and something will come up. Something always comes up where you say, “I can’t actually be on call as much as I’m on call or I don’t want to work in the office as much as I have to work in the office to support my family.” I love the idea of supplementing that somehow. It doesn’t have to be something as huge and comprehensive as online courses. It could be virtual workshops on Zoom or even one-on-one consults online. The great thing about that is you’re not only now just impacting people in your town or your city. You now have the opportunity to impact people all over the entire world, which is really, really unbelievable. My life changed the minute that I realized that I didn’t have to be sitting next to someone as she’s giving birth to help impact her birth for the better. I could literally be across the world and maybe she just listened to my podcast. Maybe she just did one of my workshops on Zoom and maybe she just downloaded an ebook that I sold. That can have a huge impact too. I think to start to touch on the burnout piece, I think the number one reason that we hit that wall of burnout is because we’re not creating an authentic business.
We’re trying to do what everybody else is doing. And so for a lot of us, that looks like being on call all the time and that’s it and just having an in-person business. But you need to examine that and ask yourself, is that really authentic to what I like to do? And I think 99% of the time, if someone is hitting that wall of burnout, there’s something missing. They’re not listening to that little feeling in their gut that is telling them that something needs to change, whether that’s changing your hours, having more solid boundaries, raising your prices, taking on less clients, hiring help, hiring help, just with the simple tasks, like a virtual assistant to check your email. That might alone help you avoid that burnout. So there’s so many, so many different facets, but it all comes back to listen to your gut. And as birth workers in any capacity, a lot of the time we help our clients listen to their gut and listen to their intuition.
And it’s funny because I noticed when working with birth workers, and I work with mostly doulas, birth doulas and postpartum doulas, but a lot of the time we forget to listen to our own intuition, or we’re out of tune with our intuition because we’re trying to serve people so much, but we can’t serve others unless we are operating in alignment. And to touch on that financial piece, that’s the question of the century, is how do we actually get paid for the work that we’re doing? And honestly, there’s no right answer, of course, you know that too. But I think it starts with our relationship with ourselves.
And I think it starts with letting go of the narrative of imposter syndrome. And there’s other people out there who aren’t charging as much, or there’s other people out there who are more of an expert than I am. So how can I charge, you know, more than XYZ. And it really comes down to dropping all of that like comparison. And even if you need to get really clear and logical about like, okay, what do I actually need to make to serve my family and to pay for food and pay my mortgage and make this sustainable? And when I’m talking to doulas, it’s also like, can you include therapy cost in that? Can you include massages after every birth? Can you include these things in your pricing? So you’re not hitting that burnout. And I say, just throw it on a spreadsheet and make it very, very logical. Take emotion out of it. Take away the, I’m new to this, or take away the so-and-so down the street, only charges 50 bucks, so I have to charge 50 bucks. Get rid of all of that and just be logical about it and make sure you’re tuning into your intuition every step of the way.
Maranda: This is gold. Like, I hope that all of you who are listening in right now to Kyleigh and what she is sharing with you, it’s absolutely, absolutely gold here. You’ve got to walk the walk and talk the talk and we’re teaching our clients how to listen into themselves, yet we’re not doing the same when it comes to their own work. And I will tell you, if you’re showing up here and you’re listening to my podcast, you are not status quo. You are absolutely not status quo. So stop being status quo and doing the work that everybody else is doing. You are here for something different. You are here not to play small. You are here for something bigger. Listen in to what your body is telling you and make those adjustments, even if you have to be super logical in what that looks like and busting out that spreadsheet. Like, I’m a nerd. I like spreadsheets. But if that’s not something that you’re totally into, just know that it’s worth it to really look at what your needs are and how to care for yourself during this time.
Because the work that you’re doing as doulas, as whomever you are showing up in this field, you are needed more than ever. We cannot have you burn out. You cannot burn out. You can’t burn out for yourself, for your family. You cannot burn out for your clients and you cannot burn out for the industry. Please do not burn out. We need you.
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Kyleigh: I hear people that just say, “Well, there’s so many women to serve, so I need to serve them all.” And I think to myself, “Okay, really? If your number one goal is to serve as many people as possible, do you want to serve 20 people this year and then burn out, or would you rather serve five people a year every year for the next 50 years?” You know? Think long-term. Think long game. And I know most of us are serving more than five people a year, so I just pulled that number out. But we cannot impact birth if we burn out in the process and just go off the deep end and quit and never come back. So it’s really important. I tell my students from day one, always ask yourself, “Am I building something sustainable here?” So that means, “Am I building something where I don’t necessarily need to show up face to face, five days a week, seven days a week, to create an income?” And for most people, they hear that, and they’re like, “Oh, the only way I get paid is if I show up, whether it’s show up to adjust clients in person, whether it’s show up to a birth, most people are only paying if they are actually showing up.”
So yeah, start asking yourself, “What would it look like to supplement that in some way?” The very first step that I teach a lot of people to make is just start teaching virtual workshops.
It’s a great place to start because you just throw together a slide deck. I’m sure every single person listening to this has at least one topic that they could talk about for one hour and just kind of go off. Teach for one hour, do a Q&A at the end, charge anywhere from 20 bucks to 100 bucks, and start there. You could literally start that two weeks from now. And in growing an online business, you can repurpose that, just record it and then put it up, right? And you have, this is what we call the residual income, right?
And you’re using your knowledge base and the tools that you have that people so desperately need and want, and putting yourself out there in a different way to get some of that recurring income that will help you not burn out as fast. Because I tell you, if you’re getting paid what you’re worth, you’re probably going to be sticking around in the game a lot longer and being able to make adjustments, right?
I will tell you, when I first started my business, I was giving away so much for free. Because one, I didn’t feel like I was worth it, right? Like self-worth issues, who am I to even consider doing this work, right? So obviously, I have to give it away for it to be worth anything because nobody’s going to pay me, right? We all have those thoughts. That was me in the very beginning. And I will tell you, I still catch myself doing that, like, “Oh, I’m going to give this away for free.” And my team is like, “What? No, you’re not. Stop doing that.” But the important part here that I’m trying to tell you is that when we are in this space, it is so incredibly important to understand who you are in your self-worth and to work on your healing and to allow your practice to help you work in that healing.
And so as I have grown in my own business, and it’s no secret, it’s a big business, it’s a huge business, and we make a lot. But because we make a lot, I have been able to hire people to help make the free things, and to support other organizations, and to be able to give away money and services. Like, I am able to do that more now than I ever was in the very beginning when I underestimated myself. So know your worth, charge what you’re worth, and as you grow in your business, you’ll be able to serve that much more people in the process.
Maranda: I love that you mentioned that. It’s, I’m at that place in my business too, where now my giveaways aren’t like a free ebook. Like my giveaways are like $1,000. And to be able to send someone like money, send a real human money who needs money for a giveaway, or impact their lives by gifting doula services, or gifting like the Birth Worker Academy, like these big courses, that just changes lives even more. Like it’s exponential. And like you said too, hiring people, being able to hire other moms potentially, who are now able to work from home too. And it’s just snowballs and your impact spreads way beyond just your little town where you live. It really becomes a worldwide impact. So in the very beginning, when I was saying like, you have to listen to Kyleigh, no matter if you’re a doula or not, because we’re going to talk about how we can make a lasting impact on the world. Like this is a huge part of that conversation because truly we’re not here just to support our communities, which I feel is like a massive missing piece to this whole thing, right? Our culture helps create the families and our families help create the culture. We have both going hand in hand, right? If we have cultural beliefs that are negative, they’re going to negatively impact the family. And if our families are not getting the support and things that they need, it’s going to negatively impact the culture, right? And so in order to make a bigger global impact, we have to do this grassroots effort and be in our communities, but we also have to take it into this bigger realm. We also have to expand well beyond and bringing things to the internet is one of the ways in which we can do that on a larger scale.
Kyleigh: 100%, 100%.
Maranda: I am so grateful that you are here, Kyleigh. Is there any other words of wisdom that you can share with anybody here who might be a professional in the field or at least looking at potentially being a professional in the field?
Kyleigh: The last piece that I will give you is almost the direction, like where do you go from here? Now that I know that like potentially I should grow my impact by taking my business online somewhat, what’s the very first step? And I would say, in my opinion, the very first step is creating an online presence off social media, AKA grow your email list.
So create awesome content that people would pay for, put it on a podcast like this podcast, put it on a blog, create a video show, whatever you love doing and send that to your email list every single week. And you would just be so amazed by how that snowballs if you’re giving fantastic information, not just adding more noise to the space, but really coming in with your perspective, knowing who you are, being true to yourself and sharing that with people who are willing to listen. So go create an email list and in a couple of weeks, host your first workshop, you’re gonna be mind blown at the impact you create.
Maranda: I love this so much. Thank you, Kyleigh, for being here. Where can people find you?
Kyleigh: Yeah, the best place to come find me is the Birth Worker podcast. And you can search that on Google or Apple podcast, Spotify, wherever you’re listening to this, just search the Birth Worker podcast and you will find me.
Maranda: And we have all of those links, including more on how to find Kyleigh, because you want to go check out her websites and her things that she provides here. We love you so much. Thank you for being here on this show. Go check her out and can’t wait to connect more. Love this episode. Let us know by leaving an amazing review. Your support is everything. Want more? Head over to postpartumu.com. That’s postpartum, the letter u.com and explore how we support moms like you in holistic whole body healing that’s specific for the unique needs of mamas in the years postpartum. See you there.
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