By Danielle Fox, Nurturing Birth’s Doula Mentor Coordinator
I am usually a very busy birth doula but enquiries for postnatal support have been at their highest since Covid started. I’m the doula mentor coordinator with Nurturing Birth.
I first heard about doulas about ten years ago when my mum said she’d found the job I was made for! I did spend time researching it, but my boys were then only 3 years and 6 months old so starting a new career seemed daunting.
At the time, I had been a librarian for 13 years and also taught parents babysign (BSL) at local libraries, groups and nurseries. I loved my job but with two babies to care for, it was becoming increasingly difficult to juggle parenthood with my career.
I was finding that all too often I would overhear stories from new parents attending my babysign classes that they wished they’d had more support on their parenting journey. Many shared that they’d been clueless about the change that a newborn was going to bring to their lives. When I looked at my experience, I was surrounded by the women in my family (including mum, nan & aunties) who encouraged me to only rest and feed my baby for at least the first week after his arrival. In our culture it’s paramount that the birthing mama is cared for physically and emotionally. I knew I really wanted to take on that role for families that didn’t have the amazing support that I did, so I decided to train to be a doula!
Before starting my career as a doula I hadn’t supported anyone physically during birth but I was very forthcoming with any expectant friends, suggesting to them that they may want to spend time taking in knowledge before going into labour and set up support at home so they could focus on recovering and bonding with baby. Clearly, a career as a doula was always going to be my future!
I love everything about being a doula. It’s my dream job! As much as I love seeing a baby being born, and still six years later, I’m still in awe of what our bodies can achieve, I’d have to say what I love most is knowing the positive impact I can make on a family. To allow me to walk with them on their journey to parenthood and make a real difference is honestly the biggest privilege!
At the beginning it took me a while to realise how organised I needed to be when “on call” for a birth with very young children. It took some juggling but once I got into a routine with it I felt more in control.
Now the boys are older I would say I am constantly reminding myself that family still comes first. Being the caring souls we are as doulas, we may come across situations that can take up a lot of our time mentally. It is important to set healthy boundaries with my clients and make sure I still have the head space to be there for my family.
When I first certified as a doula my end goal was to be active in my local community and spread awareness about the much-needed practical and emotional support we offer families. I have since been recommended to expectant parents by local midwives and this makes my heart sing! The next step is to open my own maternity hub in the town and run all my courses from there.
One final thing about doulaing that I have to mention is the positive impact that regular mentoring has brought to my birth business. My Nurturing Birth mentor has supported me through my very first birth, building a successful business, juggling family life, personal circumstances and client baby loss. Having her by my side to talk through things that she truly understands has been priceless and one of the reasons why I’m now a mentor myself.
If you are sitting on the fence about joining a Nurturing Birth course, have a chat to the team – you won’t regret it. They are all super supportive, and once certified if you take advantage of mentoring and work hard to build a business that feels right for YOU, you will never look back!
You can contact Danielle through her website, social media or Nurturing Birth Directory link.