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I think I'd like to become a Doula

(18 Posts)
NickNacks Sat 12-Mar-16 15:39:21

It wouldn't be for 2/3/4 years yet as I still need to take and collect my youngest to school which my current career allows me to do, but I've spent a few months considering it and think I'd like to go for it.

I have a few questions which maybe parents who might use a doula or have used a doula could answer and if you are a doula you might be able to help me too.

1. How do I go about getting experience? I have been a birth partner for a friend and had 3 home births myself. What qualifications do I need?

2. What sort of services would be an added bonus? Or bare minimum that you would expect? I am currently working in childcare so would be happy to provide care for older children during a home or hospital birth if needed.

3. Money! At the end of the day I need to earn an income, is £1500-£2000 per month achievable? How do you know how to price yourself and all the different combinations of services/packages/hours?

And any other info parents or doulas can give me would be much appreciated!

NickNacks Sun 13-Mar-16 07:52:47

Sunday bump!

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:50

Watching, as it's something I'm interested in.

Well i thought about it too years ago, you've just refreshed my curiosity.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Sun 13-Mar-16 08:01:18

I dabbled after my first was born, but never really got it off the ground.

That sort of income is not doable from just doula-ing alone. You can be on call for up to four weeks with each client, so you can't really take on more than one a month. The ones I know who make a good living from it live in upmarket areas where there is plenty of demand, and supplement being a birth Doula with doing things like antenatal classes, breastfeeding support, training.

I think it is doable if you're prepared to branch out and really work on it, but it does depend on demand in your area.

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 08:13:03

I know when I had my first DC, there seemed to be government schemes and jobs, but on a voluntary basis with expenses covered. To help out with young mums (or any mum) who were lacking family support, or were thought to benefit from a doula.

I was contemplating to do that when I had more time. But a lass, things have changed so much now with cuts and agenda.

NickNacks Sun 13-Mar-16 08:19:32

One a month? Gosh that has surprised me. I was thinking one a week! I know I'd be on call for longer and I'm fine with that, just assumed it would be very unlikely to get two in labour at once and of course you just didn't charge if you couldn't attend.

I live in a good area for middle class parents with disposable income.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Sun 13-Mar-16 08:23:12

Some doulas do overlap; you're self employed so it's up to you. But it's not considered good practice because obviously letting people down is very bad, whether you charge them or not. And you need to tell clients you're doing this from the outset so if you're competing with other doulas who don't overlap you might struggle. Personally, I wouldn't have hired a Doula who was on call for more than one person.

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 08:27:18

I got the impression, a doula was around for a few weeks after the birth too.

So you'd help support them with the weeks leading up to labour, more moral support. Then spend weeks after the birth helping with breastfeeding/bottle, help around the house, offer emotional and moral support, showing them the ropes etc....

So one a month I thought sounded about right.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Sun 13-Mar-16 08:29:37

That's being hired as a post natal Doula - not all families do this. It's separate from being a birth Doula and paid by the hour (or bought as a package).

NickNacks Sun 13-Mar-16 08:31:27

This is all very useful thanks! The only contact I've had is with one doula who is a birth doula only- she doesn't do post natal work so interesting to hear it's more usual to be around for a few weeks after birth helping too.

NickNacks Sun 13-Mar-16 08:31:54

Oh x post!

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 08:35:18

Oh okay, well that sounds good, but I suppose if not many families go for that, then I suppose it's a bit of a non starter.

If I could find a government scheme like the ones I read about many years ago, I'd still like to look into it and whether it was do able for me. I like the idea of what they were trying to offer, and it was pretty and post natal.

liger Sun 13-Mar-16 08:35:38

Have you visited the Doula UK website? There is lots of information there on how to become a doula with lists of training available. You can also take part in a one day taster which spells out a lots of the issues and helps you work out if its right for you before before committing time and finances to a training course.

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 08:36:32

*Pre not pretty!

NickNacks Sun 13-Mar-16 08:40:47

I've had a brief look at Doula UK, I'll have a more in depth look one evening this week I think. Thanks for reminding me about it.

ILeaveTheRoomForTwoMinutes Sun 13-Mar-16 08:42:43

Thanks liger I found these two, which I'll go look at now, and thanks OP for reminding me about doulas.

liger Sun 13-Mar-16 08:49:46

Your first link to the Doula UK website is the one to go for.
The second is an agency.

MaybeDoctor Sun 13-Mar-16 09:57:23

I thought about this and went on a one day 'intro to being a doula' workshop, via Doula uk. It was excellent and I was all set to take a course, but then got offered a different job instead so never pursued it.

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