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Becoming a Doula??

I am trying to figure out a new career path for myself, and having my daughter without the use of drugs was an amazing event... I am still very intersted in learning more about natural birth and love sharing what i do know with other women... I was wondering if any doulas could share their experience with me. I mean, what are the pros and cons? Is it something you can make a living doing, or is it more supplemental? if it is supplemental, how do you work it out with your other job? Is it all one on one with couples, or do you work out of a birth center or hospital?

Answer Question

Asked by earthmama727 at 2:56 AM on Jan. 7, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 11 (626 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:38 AM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • Actually, rkoloms, I'm not a huge fan of DONA. They're widely known and DONA doulas probably get the most business because it's an easily marketable certification, but they have really stringent scope of practice rules, and they make you recertify every 4 years (that means $400 to keep your cert every 4 years).

    You don't NEED any cert to be a doula. It certainly helps, though. I like Childbirth International ( Most doulas attend the births of a few family and friends and then get their certs, since you will need to attend a couple to certify anyway. Read The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkin and get some idea of what labor support is really all about. Educate yourself about natural labor and birth and what interventions do to the process (which you will learn during your cert process).


    Answer by Ati_13 at 10:50 AM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • If you were going to try to support a family with your doula work, you would need to be very busy. Doing at least 10 births per month. For the most part, doula work is supplimental. Most doulas are stay at home moms or have very flexible jobs. If you're already working 9-5 in an office, for example, you would have to give that up to be a doula, because to attend births you HAVE to be available 24/7.

    Most doulas work independantly from a hospital or birth center, mostly because hospitals tend to be slightly unfriendly to doulas and prefer to not have them on their payroll. Some freestanding birth centers hire doulas, but those jobs are few and far between. For the most part, you will be an independant practitioner, attending births wherever your clients are having them. You should be comfortable with the thought of home birth, since many women who hire doulas have home births.

    Good luck in your journey!

    Answer by Ati_13 at 10:54 AM on Jan. 7, 2010

  • my understanding of a doula is really of a mother's helper and childbirth aide. as a childbirth aide you will be oncall, which means you will need a childcare provider on call. it can be stressful (physically) to be up all night with a birthing mom, and then go home to take care of your family. I know a natural birth is very exciting! Maybe you could be a birthing educator, leading prenatal classes. birthing from within is an awesome book, and there are corresponding "teachers" to go along with that. Bradley method is another area you could look into. I am not sure what the instructors make, but the scheduling would be easier with a family and/ or another job.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 11:59 AM on Jan. 7, 2010

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