By Sophie Brigstocke
“What experience do I need to be a doula?” is one of the most common questions we are asked at Nurturing Birth.
“Do I need to have had children?” “Do I need to have a nursing or midwifery background?” “Do I need to have worked with families before?” “Do I need complementary skills/qualifications?” “Do I need to have experienced birth in a particular way?” “Do I need to have breastfed my babies?” “Do I need GCSE Maths?!”
The answer to all of those is no! Being a doula is not about the certificates you hold or whether you have been through pregnancy or childbirth yourself. Being a doula is about being with families as they navigate their journey into parenthood, and you can guarantee that someone else’s journey won’t be the same as yours. There may be parallels, you may see similarities, but what you experienced and felt won’t be the same.
Sometimes, and maybe this will surprise some, it is those who haven’t experienced pregnancy, birth and parenting who find it easiest to step in to the doula role. They aren’t having to process their own experiences in order to be clear to support others. They can be truly present as a doula without being hampered by the “I did it this way” thoughts. If we think about it, many obstetricians and midwives haven’t experienced birth – it doesn’t stop them being able to do their job competently and compassionately (in the majority of cases).
Unless you’ve spent your life in on a remote island with only trees for company, you are likely to have many of the necessary qualities to be a doula – an ability to relate to people, to listen, to nurture and care. What we are able to do on our doula training courses is help you to refine your natural doula qualities so that you go out in to the world full of compassion, with healthy boundaries, able to signpost and actively listen to your clients.
What more experience do you need to train to be a doula?
If you want to chat to us about becoming a doula then send us a message and we can call you back. We love to nurture doulas right from the start of the journey, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.