So you think you might want to become a labor/birth doula? You probably have a lot of questions and aren’t quite sure where to get started. You might be asking, how do I become a doula? Or, is becoming a doula the right path for me?
There are many things you should know before you become a doula, and I would recommend doing some research and, if possible, shadowing another doula at a birth before committing. The Ultimate Birth Doula Toolkit contains a comprehensive framework for structuring your thriving doula business and answers all the questions aspiring doulas typically have, so I would recommend checking out this resource as well.
To get you started, here are the 5 things I wish I had known before becoming a doula.
1st Thing to Know Before Becoming a Doula
Being on call can be hard!! Exactly how hard it is for you will depend on a variety of factors. Do you have another job? If so, navigating how you will work out being on call at all times of day while fulfilling the responsibilities of your other job can be challenging. Do you have children? If so, you will need to have someone lined up who can reliably watch your children at a moment’s notice. Are you the type of person who needs to know what their schedule is going to be like, or is your personality pretty go with the flow? Being on call entails having your phone with you at all times and being prepared to leave for a birth quickly at any time of day for an unknown period of time. This can be tough!
2nd Thing to Know Before Becoming a Doula
There are a lot of materials that need to be developed and processes that need to be thought through before you start taking on clients. How can you best empower your clients to have positive birth experiences? What information and materials will you want to share with them? Doing a lot of this work upfront ensures you will be able to better support even your first clients. If you need help in this arena, our Toolkit has you covered!
3rd Thing to Know Before Becoming a Doula
Births can be long! Births can be short! Births are unpredictable! You might miss a birth because it happens so fast you don’t arrive in time. You might be at a birth for 24+ hours. You just never know. While it can be challenging to navigate the unknown elements of birth, this also makes doula work exciting and fun. You never know what to expect, and two births are never the same. Birth is exciting and unpredictable!
4th Thing to Know Before Becoming a Doula
It is difficult to anticipate how much interest there will be in your doula services, especially initially. You could have months where 5 clients want to book you and others where none do. Once your business is more developed and you are better known in your community, continuity will develop, and you will have a better sense of how much demand there will be for your services on a monthly basis. Until then, there may not be much consistency, which can make things difficult if this is your only source of income and you are depending on a certain level of business each month just to get by. Having another source of income initially can come in very handy!
5th Thing to Know Before Becoming a Doula
Seeing a new person come into this world never gets any less amazing! It’s incredible, breathtaking, surreal, and beautiful! That moment when you witness a baby take its first breath and parents meet their child for the first time makes the stress of being on call, the long periods away from your family, and the sleepless nights sooooo worth it!!
Are you ready to become a doula? If so, you can start thinking about how you will get your name out there once you start your new doula business and how you will reach potential clients.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a doula, please check out The Ultimate Birth Doula Toolkit. This resource guides you step-by-step through the process of becoming and being a doula and is meant to help you become the best version of your doula self.
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