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How do you become a doula?

(17 Posts)
ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 06-Feb-10 14:18:31

A good friend of mine has been considering it but thought that most doulas are ex midwives. Can any doulas suggest how you can train and whether you need to be a medical professional?

luciemule Sat 06-Feb-10 15:56:38

Hi Kat - I'm a doula (antenatal, birth & postnatal) and I trained with Baby on board Doulas in Southampton. You don't have to medically trained as that is the whole point of a doula (someone who is NOT medically trained). A doula supports women (emotionally, physically and informationally) either before, during or after the birth of their baby but not always all three.
I started my own business, once fully trained on moving to a new county and tbh, I was convinced it would be a really good idea. However, after nearly 10 months, I've had 2 clients and have now stopped the business as I can't afford to advertise with nothing coming in! I think I will carry on with it though if we move back to an army quarter as I think forces dependents might find a douyla really useful with DHs away so often.
I woul dtell your friends to do her homework though - on which course and also the market in the area she'll be working. I had no help or support from local hospitals and when I offered to do some voluntary work with the nearby HMP mother and baby unit, they didn't even reply to my email. I found a lot of people didn't know what a doula was so perhaps, it would have been better to set up with someone else for support. It's defo not a great earner but I guess it could be in the right area.
If I could afford to, I'd be a volunteer doula. Also, just to let you know, the NCT are currently training their specialist workers (only) to train as volunteer doulas in hospitals to offer support to low income families so why would people pay for a birth doula when they're offered for free?
Some course are expensive, aren't accredited or only acknowledge their own qualification and who also, try to get lots of 'bums on seats' and then make sure you have to go back for more training every year that you have to pay for. I'm not saying they're only trying to make money but just make sure your friend checks out all options. The course I did is recognised by CACHE, who accredit childcare quals (nannies/childc are workers etc).

sowhatis Sat 06-Feb-10 15:58:11

take a look at lots of different courses and loads of info xx

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 06-Feb-10 17:32:43

That's interesting, thank you.

Lulumama Sat 06-Feb-10 17:41:15

I am not an ex midwife, I have no medical training .. i do hope to become a MW though

i trained with and am a memeber of

anyone can set up as a doula, you don't need formal training or qualifications,but i can heartily recommend a doula uk recognised training course, such as nurturing birth , to give you the support and help of an umbrella organisastion and mentor

I have also spent a lot of time forging strong links with the local hospital through the NCT, and have even lectured at the local uni about the role of a doula!!

for me , it has simply strenghtened my yearning to wokr in maternity services and has helped me, i have attended births, supported mothers to breastfeed, supported mothers with poorly babies, and it hasbene a wonderufl education in terms of what midwifery will be

detoxdiva Thu 18-Feb-10 08:49:46

Lulumama, or any other Doulas.....this is something I am incredibly interested in. How difficult have you found it to gain birth experiences as well as paying clients? I work part time so could realistically train alongside this, but would ultimately like to make it my main 'job' for want of a better word smile

Klaw Fri 19-Feb-10 23:35:06

Doulas come form all walks of life, and equally their paths to becoming a Doula and gaining experience can be different.

I completed a Doula UK recognised course, set myself up a website on a free web site thingy, got involved in the local MSLC, and as a member of Doula UK I am on their Find a Doula pages, as well as Find a Doula pages of Scottish Doula Network, and whatever other listing pages etc.

Doulas tend to be able to network amongst themselves too and put out requests for Doulas when we know someone is looking for one.

Certain areas are dead busy areas for Doulas, like London, whereas other areas, like rural Scotland, struggle to raise awareness and we have to be very proactive.

detoxdiva Sat 20-Feb-10 07:03:19

Thanks Klaw. I am hoping there will be a good demand in my area as am only about 35 miles north of London, but am planning to do some research before I train.

childrenchildreneverywhere Thu 25-Feb-10 17:30:12

I'm also a doula, perhaps not too far from you either as I'm about 40miles north of London, just south of Cambridge - there is a HUGE demand around here, I am fully booked until September!

I am not medically qualified, I have a Psychology degree and after having 4 babies of my own went on to train as a HypnoBirthing teacher which in turn led me to train as a doula. I think the most important attributes are a genuine passion for birth and making it the best possible experience for new mums, dads and babies and preferably having children yourself.

I trained with Paramanadoula in London and Nurturting Birth in Norfolk and am also a member of Doula UK.


Emiliasandilands Sat 19-Jul-14 11:14:53

Hello all folks out there considering taking a doula workshop or doula training with Nicola Goodall. Just a word of caution to bear in mind. I hired Nicola Goodall, and while she had a lot of really great points and while I 100% resonate with her birth philosophy, sadly she left halfway through the birth at the worst imaginable time, and then with very little effort she failed to provide a backup. This is not the service I paid for. I cannot recommend her due to her lack of business ethics, and do not assume she has a reliable backup in place when she says she does
Feel free to contact me if you wish.

MeAgain99 Sat 19-Jul-14 11:17:39

Hi - just wanted to add - a friend of mine (Tamara Bexley) is a dhoula (doula) I think she still practices and was based in West London, not sure of demand but she really enjoyed it and the ethics behind it.

Based on her bad first time birth experiences. Google her for website.

Welshdoula Fri 10-Oct-14 18:01:34

I orginally joined Doula UK and did a Doula course before setting out to find my clients etc, its a struggle I'll be honest and not all that easy to start up a viable business (The money I was making went straight to Doula UK for my recognition process, training courses etc). Now with a few years behind me I am able to do more with my Doula business as an independent and I have toyed with running Doula courses in South Wales, I am currently developing a Doula apprenticeship where new Doulas learn through contact with clients, attend births with me (where mum is ok with this) and get help finding clients and plenty of work as a back up Doula or doing shared care. I don't believe you do not learn to interact with women in a classroom and I do hope other experienced Doulas move towards apprenticeships in the near future.

mumsareamazing Thu 20-Nov-14 14:36:09

Hi! I'm hoping to become a midwife soon but I would love to train as a doula in my gap year so I can give mums the best support possible. I haven't had any children and I was wondering if I can still become a doula?

Hazchem Fri 21-Nov-14 00:19:08

Doulas need to have had a baby. The evidence that supports doulas attending births is based on it being a women that has given birth before. By all means train as a midwife or offer to attend some births for free but supporting women in labour isn't a gap year thing to make some money.

mumsareamazing Sat 22-Nov-14 17:39:40

It definitely wouldn't be to make money. I am very passionate about everything to do with mums and birth. I was hoping to be a able to train as a doula to then be a better support for mums and their families when I become a midwife. Thank you for clearing this up for me.

Hazchem Sat 22-Nov-14 20:44:04

You might be better off asking your local maternity ward or sure start if you can volunteer. Or contact your local NCT/ABM/LLL group and see if they would like some volunteering. While none of that would be attending birth you'd be able to do things that support women and here about what want/need.

caerphillydoula Sat 14-Nov-15 18:48:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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