As a doula, you will be providing support for women during their pregnancy and delivery. You will ensure that childbirth is a safe and exciting experience for mother and her child. Some of your duties will include listening to your client, understanding their individual needs, meeting with them, and being present during labor and delivery. If you are good at providing emotional and educational support to others, and enjoy the birthing process, a career as a doula may be right for you.
Why Become A Doula
One of the most exciting moments in a person’s life is having children. They want to make sure everything goes smoothly and do everything they can to prepare for the delivery of their children. Many people seek out the help of trusted professionals who can help with childbirth. A doula is somebody who is specially trained to help with pregnancy and childbirth.
The purpose of a doula is to provide emotional, educational and physical support to a woman. A doula helps their clients while they are expecting a child, when they are in labor, as well as after the delivery. A doula helps expecting parents have a safe and memorable experience. A doula meets with the mother before the baby is due. The client discusses concerns, and from this the doula will work towards goals for the client. The doula and client will meet several times to check on the progress of the pregnancy. During labor, a doula acts as a source of support, offering pain relieving techniques such as breathing, massage, and certain positioning of the body.
One thing to be noted is that doulas do not have medical training. This is what sets them apart from midwives, which is another related profession. A doula does not provide medical care or deliver the baby. A woman must work with a doctor or other healthcare professional, as well as a doula.
This is a great position for somebody who is interested in healthcare, loves women and children, and wants to work directly with clients to provide a memorable birthing experience.
Doulas should possess the following qualities and skills:
Doula Work Environment
A doula’s clients are pregnant women who will be expecting children. These clients may live a far distance away from each other. In this position, a doula may do quite a bit of traveling. A doula must travel to see her clients, meet with them, and discuss the doula services. A doula must also be on call, ready to help expecting parents when they go into labor. Births can sometimes be quick and straightforward, but births can also sometimes be long or have complications involved. A doula must be prepared for anything.
The salary for a doula can vary considerably. Many doulas set their own fees in order to work. Because they charge their own fees, a doula is responsible for their own income and can make as much money as they can. On average, doulas charge $300 to $1500 for their services. There are many factors that go into salary. Doulas in large, metropolitan areas may earn larger incomes. Doulas who are certified may also earn a higher salary. DONA International estimates that certified doulas earn on average $200 more per service than doulas who are not certified.
Doula Career Outlook
Employment for doulas is expected to grow by 49 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is faster than average growth for other occupations in the United States.
More expecting parents are turning to alternative methods of birthing. People are interested in doulas and what they can offer. There is increasing interest in holistic health. Mothers want to have the best birthing experience possible. Because of this, employment for doulas is expected to increase.
If you are interested in becoming a doula, read below to find out more information.
Step 1: Find a specialty. Decide on a specialty you want to pursue as a doula. Most doulas are birth or labor doulas, who specialize in the birthing process. But there are other types of doulas as well, such as postpartum doulas and miscarriage doulas.
Step 2: Get certified. There are many organizations that offer certification for doulas. Some of the most popular and highly respected organizations include DONA International, CAPPA, and BirthArts. Each organization has different requirements for becoming certified. Certification is a way of signaling to others that you have completed advanced training in your field. You could even earn a higher salary by becoming certified.
Step 3: Attend a workshop. Workshops are required as part of becoming a doula. Check with your local doula organization to see what workshops are available in your area, or if you can complete a workshop online. For DONA International, doulas must attend at least 16 hours of workshop instruction and 12 hours of childbirth education classes.