Maybe you have read or watched something that intrigued you on the career that is blowing up around the world. Maybe you had a doula yourself and loved the experience and want to now support others or maybe you wanted a doula but one wasn’t available in your area and now you are determined to make your dream a reality for others. Whatever the case, we want to applaud you for digging into the world of doulaing and want to support you in finding out if this career is perfect for you.
First, let’s cover some basics about what a doula even is.
The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek term for “female servant”. This is an accurate representation of the role a doula plays in a woman’s birth and postpartum experience. A doula is there to serve the needs of the mother and her partner, providing comfort and reassurance during labor and delivery and throughout their postpartum journey.
As a doula, you have the opportunity to support women and their families through some of the most transformative and memorable experiences of their lives: childbirth and bringing home their new baby. A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to women and their partners before, during, and after childbirth as well as through the first year of the postpartum period. The role of a doula is to provide personalized and continuous support that empowers the mother to make informed decisions about her desires for birth and postpartum experience as well as supporting and educating while they care for their newborn.
SHOULD I BECOME A BIRTH DOULA?
If you are looking to become a birth/ labor doula, one of the main benefits you will provide is the continuity of care. As a birth doula, you will meet with expectant mothers a few times before the birth to establish a relationship and to discuss the mother’s preferences for labor and delivery. You will also have a solid communication experience with the mother through texting, phone call, emails and video messaging. This allows for you as their doula to tailor the support to the mother’s unique needs and to understand her desires well to help empower to achieve her goals.
During labor, a doula provides physical comfort measures such as massage, breathing techniques, and positioning suggestions to help the mother cope with the intensity of labor. You may also provide emotional support, helping the mother to stay calm and focused throughout the process. After the birth, a doula can provide support with breastfeeding, newborn care, and emotional adjustment to the new family dynamic
SHOULD I BECOME A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
As a postpartum doula, you’ll be working directly with new parents during a time when they need the most help and support. You’ll be there to provide emotional support, answer their questions, and offer practical advice and guidance. Your role as their doula will be to help them transition into their new roles as parents, and make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Knowing that you’ve made a positive impact on someone’s life can be incredibly rewarding. You will also allow parents to get what they lack most…sleep. As a postpartum doula you can help allow time for a good nap during the daytime and allow a full night of sleep if you provide care overnight support.
A doula can also provide informational support by answering questions and providing evidence-based information to help the family make informed decisions about their care. This is especially important in situations where the family feels overwhelmed, as a doula can help the family weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that feels right for them. Unbiased support is NEEDED when supporting a family as their doula.
Most birth and postpartum doulas work as independent contractors, which means that you can choose your own hours and schedule. This can be particularly attractive for people with other commitments, such as caring for children or pursuing other careers. You can also choose to work part-time or full-time, depending on your availability and the demand for your services.
The demand for birth and postpartum doulas is on the rise, as more and more families are recognizing the value of having a trained professional to help them during their labor and their postpartum period. This means that there is a growing need for birth and postpartum doulas, and you’ll have a good chance of finding work in your area. You can also specialize in certain areas, such as working with families who have multiples or families who have experienced a traumatic birth. You can also work as an independent contract for a Doula Agency, where you will be given plenty of opportunities to work with MANY families.
Becoming a doula is a rewarding and fulfilling career that requires a passion for supporting women and their families through the childbirth process, and through their postpartum experience. Doula training programs provide comprehensive education on the physical, emotional, and informational support that a doula can provide, as well as practical skills for supporting clients through the birth experience. We highly recommend a company called Prodoula. You can check them out here!
Whether you are considering becoming a doula or are seeking the support of a doula for your own birth experience, the role of the doula is an important and valuable one that can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby.