There is one doula in my area but she is a NICU RN, she doesn't get a lot of clients really. There is another doula in my town but I'm not sure how active she is.
I just decided to jump in with both feet! I'm actually studying to be a HB midwife, that is my long-term goal. However with having young children it is very difficult to work on my apprenticeship, I have found a preceptor. I will be attending the Denmark conference and the ones next year too.
Anyway I decided until I'm a midwife I'm going to doula so I can get experience at attending births and learn what it means to support women in labor. So I just started offering to doula for free to women I knew were pregnant. I'm also working with a friend of mine to start a "doula team". Where we could doula together if someone wants 2 doulas and cover for the other if a client should only want one of us. I've got a birth coming up in July(homebirth), we very well have another in August (hospital considering homebirth), for sure another in October (homebirth), possibly another in July or October I offered my FREE services to. Plus my preceptor gave my info out to potential clients. Right now we aren't charging anything so we can get some births under our belts.
We are leaning towards not becoming certified. For me I'm not planning to make a career of it so I don't see the need to certify plus certification doesn't' make a good doula IMO. I'm not planning to attend any doula training workshops however I will be attending midwifery conferences where the workshops I'm taking can also be applicable to my role as a doula.
We are also going to offer services no one in this area does; placenta encapsulation and belly casting. I belly casted for a friend last year. I will be taking a workshop on placenta medicine by Cornelia Enning when I go to Denmark. I will be charging for these extra services.
My friends DH is going to make a website for us. We are going to advertise online at alldoulas.com, birthpartners and another doula site. I also use to work at two local hospitals for 2yrs as a breastfeeding peer counselor. I will let the LC's and the CBEs know about our doula services. I'm also going to advertise at OB/MW practices and WIC clinics. I left some business cards at the free-standing birth center I went to with my son.
There arent any LLL groups in DE at the moment but I'm working on becoming a leader as well as an IBCLC. So that will also help.
I've read most of the Birth Partner but there are a couple other books I want to get. They are The Labor Progress Handbook and Prental Massage. I'd also like to get the DVD Attending Birth.
I'm also working on compiling a binder full of information and articles we will lend out to clients that they can refer to throuhout their pregnancy as a resource.
Hope that helps! Good luck!