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Advice on starting

Last post 04-28-2009 6:05 PM by azores. 7 replies.
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  • 04-11-2009 12:07 AM

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Advice on starting

    FIRST step to becoming a Doula....?

    Do I find local Doulas willing to take me on?

    What do you look for in a student Doula before allowing her to go with you?

    What do you expect from your student Doula? Is the student Doula to take instructions from you during L&D, or is she to stay out of the way learning from you...do both?

    How many Doulas should a student Doula work under?

    Any online educational sites you recommend?

    Blah, blah, blah....

     

    I would like to start doing my thing....don't know where to begin. I've waited for so long, that any ideas I had before are gone.

    My plan is to get into a routine of going to at least a birth per month, learning, learning, then when my youngest is out of diapers, & able to fluently speak English :) I'd like to be proficient enough to advertize my services for profit.

    I was thinking a good way of getting lots of experience would be to advertize free services in the Planned Parenthood Offices.....any direction?

    Thanks :)

  • 04-11-2009 1:23 PM In reply to

    • ZoeysMom
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Lincoln, NE
    • Posts 63

    Re: Advice on starting

    Congratulations on taking steps to move your life in a new direction Yes

    I am a new Doula and am still taking many MANY of my own first steps.  For me, since I don't work in a healthcare profession or have any type of background working with women and babies I decided to do some reading.  I hit the DONA required reading list as a starting point for ideas on what to read.  Then I followed it up with an approved Birth Doula Training (which is pretty much the standard in my area.  You don't have to go on to get Certified through an organization or anything, just that the training puts a lot of "food for thought" into your head.  Makes the hospitals feel better too Wink

    As I was doing all of this I was fortunate enough to meet an experienced Doula who works within a local group willing to take me to births with her, show me around the hospitals, help with pre/post natal visits, etc.  She's definitely "taking me on" Big Smile  We haven't specifically talked about what my role will be at my first birth I attend with her but I imagine that will be different with every Doula-Student relationship.  What would make you feel most comfortable?

    I think it's also great that you've considered how many clients you feel comfortable taking on in one month versus your family commitments.  My daughter is also still in diapers and still learning english (although somedays I'm not sure it's even that! HA!) so I'm also moving "slowly".

    I agree that your local PP, or Crisis Pregnancy Center, or even guidance counselors (for high school or college) would be great people to connect with to offer your services while training.  A good friend of mine had some luck online through Craigslist and the likes too.

    It's definitely overwhelming (at least for me) to think about all the things it takes to get started.  It's been inportant for me to connect with other women locally; to help keep me on task, to swap babysitting, to share books/educational resources, to help with building a business "plan".  I hope you find similar support within your own community!  Good luck beginning your journey Stick out tongue

    Mandi
  • 04-11-2009 5:41 PM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: Advice on starting

    Thanks Mandi :) I'd like to work under a few different doulas to see how differently they operate. I would LOVE to work under Brnlnbabies & Doulamary....:D That would be sweeeeet!

    Unfortunately, I have to settle for local folk ;) I really have no idea how high the demand is, I'm sure I can get lots of pro bono clients....with the recession & all. Then once the economy picks up, I'll be good & ready :D

    Then ofcourse what if hubby's at work when I get called? I NEED a reliable babysitter, which I do not have. Sheesh.....forgot about that little bit.

     

  • 04-12-2009 9:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Advice on starting

     Just start!!  you will be amazed what come your way.  Azores,I think you are a natural for this project. All the small stuff[like a babysitter!!] will work out.  Claudia

    claudia

    Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A Heinlein
  • 04-13-2009 12:20 AM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: Advice on starting

    Claudia!

    Happy Easter :)

    I have to call you!

  • 04-14-2009 8:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Advice on starting

    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!

     

     

    ~ Cindy
    Mama to Reed and Jonas, wife to Rodney, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Midwife-to-be, working on LLL Leader Accreditation, professionally trained baker, coffee addict, lactavist, birth junkie, born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, born-again Christian and attachment parenting mama!
  • 04-28-2009 6:05 PM In reply to

    • azores
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-29-2009
    • West Coast
    • Posts 121

    Re: Advice on starting

    Thanks ladies! Im in the armpit of California, small stinky city lol...

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