I have recently started a volunteer program where I match teens and low income moms with birth professionals. I have volunteers that are childbirth educators, new parent educators, postpartum doulas, birth doulas, and mentors. I would love to talk to anyone who works for a volunteer doula program or who runs one. Would love to know how you work the birth doula part? I have a good number of birth doulas (six in total), but am very worried that once we go more live with our program that we will not have enough doulas to fulfill the role. I am not concerned about the other areas, but the birth doula area really concerns me.
Right now with the program I have no doulas that I can directly pair with mothers, because all of the doulas are stay at home moms or women who work so they cannot give the total dedication to a direct pairing. They want to volunteer, but might only have a day or two or three free each month so I came up with call schedules - meaning they are on call for 24 hours and if we have a mom in labor then they are on call then they will go to be with her. I know that isn't ideal, but I am so grateful for the time that the doulas are able to give to the mothers because the reality is they wouldn't be able to have a doula if it weren't for the doulas that are willing to volunteer.
The biggest problem I have right now is getting the calendar covered (don't get me wrong I am so grateful to each doula that takes call), but I simply don't have enough of them. In April it looks like I will be taking 20 days of call and while the chances are slim I will get called in I am also very worried about it. So I would love to hear how other programs work to see if I can tweek mine to either bring in more doulas or distribute the call differently or whatever. I did just run it by the group about shortening the shifts to 12 hours because maybe some can do nights after their partners get home, etc but haven't heard back from anyone yet.
I did just apply to become a non profit but we are waiting on that status. Once that is done I do plan on applying for grants to pay everyone and if those come through then I think I will have more doulas available, but still need to figure this out for right now on how I can get it flowing smoothly.