Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about doula training, with some helpful answers!
How can I juggle becoming/being a doula with a young family? How do other doulas with children manage their commitments?
Firstly, remember that what you choose to offer as a doula is entirely up to you, and can adapt according to your commitments. For instance, you can just provide antenatal support or postnatal support, which is a bit easier to plan than if you also attend births.
Antenatal support can be planned around your schedule, if you have childcare needs or other commitments, such as other work. As a postnatal doula the support you offer may be within a very short time after the birth, however you can define availability with your client. Some doulas only offer daytime postnatal support because they know that their child will be in nursery, school or with another carer. However, if you fancy the idea of evening or night time doulaing this might work for you if you have a partner or someone at home with your child or children.
Some doulas share childcare, taking turns to look after each others’ babies and children so that one or the other can work. Perhaps this might be an option for you?
When it comes to providing on-call birth support, the biggest challenge is that you don’t have a set period of time that you’ll be away from your little ones. This means that when you’re considering being a doula who attends births, you’ll need to ensure that you have more flexible childcare than for antenatal and postnatal services. This is why it’s so helpful to know that you can be a doula without actually going to births, unless and until you’re ready to!
Another option for birth doulas is to work in shared care, or to have a trusted doula to be your back up if and when you know you are not available. This would need to be agreed with the client, and a fee worked out between you, but this option can help doulas to take on more clients than they would otherwise be able to do.
Finally, some doulas find that it’s possible to visit clients with their own baby in arms. You’ll know whether your own child’s nature might make this possible!! You’ll need your client’s permission of course, but it can work as an option.
Once established as a doula, is it possible to have a steady monthly income?
Like any company, your doula business will take time to become known, and for clients to seek you out. Fortunately, Nurturing Birth’s doula training includes support on starting and growing a business. Then, when you’re ready to start out we’re there by your side, with Nurturing Birth mentors who can hold your hand, encourage and inspire you, and with many other business support services that Nurturing Birth doulas can access.
It is quite possible to be fully booked across the year, giving you a steady income, if that’s what you want to do. You can also work part time as a doula, and part time in other jobs, provided you can work around your on-call period, if you choose to attend births. There’s no need to take a complete leap into your new career. You can step into doulaing one foot at a time if you wish!
Is being a doula something you could do part time along other part time work or do you have to fully commit to just being a doula?
Many people have other jobs alongside being a doula. Flexible jobs are generally best if you’re planning to be on-call, but if you’re working fixed or regular hours then you can tailor your doula sessions around them.
Some doulas choose to offer a range of pregnancy and birth related services as well as being a doula, such as baby massage or yoga, hypnobirthing, antenatal teaching or lactation consultancy. It is important to say that you don’t need to do any of these to be a doula, but some people enjoy the variety. Doulas with parallel skills may support their doula work by creating and selling teaching aids, craft items such as crocheted boobs or pregnancy or birth jewellery, designing doula websites or branding etc. However, there’s no reason why your other work has to be birth related. Nurturing Birth doulas wear a number of different hats from Pole Dancing teacher to Driving Instructor!
Think doulaing might be for you? Why not give us a ring on 07305 044482 and chat through any more questions you might have? Or, if you’re ready to book a doula training course, click here!