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How to be a Doula with kids at home?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
The idea really intrigues me but I don't know how I would work it out logistically within my family. I have 4 kids, 2 in school all day and 2 not. DH leaves for work at 4:30 a.m. and is home somewhere between 2 and 4 p.m. Kids get on school bus at 7 and are home around 3.

Right now, I have no idea how I could make something like this work. I think maybe I will have to keep it on hold until kids are in middle and high school--so I would know they would get up and get themselves to school or could come home to an empty house if I were at a birth.

How have others worked out family stuff?
post #2 of 15
I try to limit the number of births I attend. I have one ds and am married and currently work as a massage therapist PT outside of the home. Its hard to juggle my family life and massage clients, when I have a mom about to deliver.

I let ALL my massage clients know that they may get called at the last minute to re-schedule due to the mom being in labor. Everyone knows I do this and is very understanding. I also let my son's daycare provider know, as well as my extended family (mom, sister). My extended family has helped out before in taking care of my ds while I attend a birth. My dh is very supportive of my work as well. Have a good support system ready and it can go smoothly.

Best of luck~

post #3 of 15
I'm struggling witha similar thing. As a midwife in training, I am tryong to find someone to play w/ dd while I am at a birth. I think I have it taken care of w/ one p/t working friend who has a daughter the same age as mine and a mother-in-law.

Get creative. Are there any friends at your kids' school w/ whom they could play for 1 hr. or so? Do you know any stay at home moms who could play w/ kids?

One doula I know has a partner. Maybe you could find one and both work together retaining clients and between the two of you work it out. You could take turns at births and watching each others' kidlets, sharing proceeds from each birth.

Best wishes!
post #4 of 15

doula with a son

Hi. I am a doula with a 19 month old boy. I work in partnership with another doula so that I only have to have back-up childcare half of the time (when I am on-call). I also just got lucky enough to have one of my clients ask me to nanny for her part-time while she works out of her home, and if I have to leave to go to a birth, she'll watch my son! Before the nanny thing happened, I was checking into babysitting co-ops in the area, mothering groups etc., to find people who I could babysit for if thhey could be on-call for me on certain days. It would be almost impossible to do it on your won before your kids start school, with a partnership it could work.
post #5 of 15
I was just going to post on this subject. I'm so glad it is already started.
I have wanted to become a doula since my son was born and finally did the training. I figured that I would work out the kinks later. My first client is due in July and I am starting to panic. I have that worked out, but I don't know how I will do this over and over. I am starting to think maybe I jumped in too soon.

Please keep the advice coming!!
post #6 of 15
It's me again. I'm really hoping this thread will get active.

I posted a similar question to a doula egroup and have received the following responses:

-limit clients, even to a few per year
-partner's schedule flexible
-take friends offers seriously, and do something for them in return-massage, pampering items, nice dinner, take their kids
-trade with another doula in a similar situation and watch each other's kids in the child's own home
-gage whether your kid can handle 'spontaneous daycare'
-use in home daycare people to be on call, also send your child there a couple times a month so they are used to it
-pay daycare person to be on call

I hope this helps and inspires some other ideas!
post #7 of 15

doula egroup

I was just wondering where you found your doula email group. I would love to be a part of one of those.
post #8 of 15
My group is the Wisconsin Doulas email group. There is also one through yahoo groups. I think to become a member you go to yahoo groups and type in doula and the doula groups should come up.
post #9 of 15
I too am a doula with a child. Luckily both my partner and I work a flexible schedule. However, my dh goes out of town alot, so I often have to at least line up a backup friend who is willing to come over in the middle of the night if need be. I find that a single, childless friend works for this, because they can often come over in the middle of the night, without me having to drop my child off because they are not leaving a child behind. This would be great with family, like your mother.

I don't take alot of clients yet, about one a month and I find that helps alot. My clients usually know mid-day that they are at least starting to have labor come on and I usually have a couple of hours to "get my act together". And so far, , it has worked out beautifully every time.

My advice is just prep your clients in advance to let them know you need time to figure out your childcare and then have a few different options in mind. Also, just in case, have a backup doula. If nothing else, she can go for you if you are in a real jam.

Good luck ladies!!!
Also, I am on a great doula list. It is very informative and nationwide.... If you are interested email me privately, as I have to invite you to the list. And check yahoo groups, it has a few good ones too.
post #10 of 15

Doula with 3 little ones

My best advice is to pair up with another doula. I had another doula friend who would( I'm on postpartum leave) take over at home for me while i had a birth and vice a versa. You must have someone who will step in where you left off, at home. That has worked the best. Before that I was always in a state of uncertainity. Who would be available. I have 2 births next month, wish me luck. Limit to 1 birth a month, cuz you still have 2 prenatals and 2 postpartums and any interviews. That will keep you busy.
post #11 of 15
So, doulas with kids at home, how old was your youngest when you started attending births? Were you still breastfeeding?

I'm really looking forward to getting started & I'm pretty sure my childcare network is adequate & I'm not planning on taking many clients anyway, but I've never left my kids with anyone for more than 3-4 hours and I don't know if they're ready. I realize this is subjective, I'm just wondering how others handled it with their young children.
post #12 of 15

Just getting started...

I'm really interested in becoming a doula. I have 16 month old DD and am expecting her sibling on Christmas day. I'm going to be going to school to become an LMP (Licensced Massage PRacticioner) and I'm getting my Reiki I, I think that those things could be a huge asset to laboring women. I really want to do this but liek others I'm not quite sure how to go about it. Any advice?
post #13 of 15
I also am taking a doula training course in 2 weeks and have a birth scheduled for Jan. But my 1 yr. old still nurses frequently at night. We tried having dh get him back to sleep last night and he was so mad, he just screamed, so I tried w/out nursing to get him to sleep, and he was still mad, finally I just nursed him and he went right to sleep. I don't want to do it if it will be too hard on him, but I really want to do it, any suggestions??? (We are going to try and gradually work on things, maybe give him a bottle of breastmilk at night, he won't take a pacifier, I am not sure what else to do. He sleeps with us already. Dh got him down for the night once by rocking him, but in the middle of the night it's a whole new ballgame!)
post #14 of 15
milkshake, I bet it will be a whole new ballgame again by January. Eight months is a really long time to a one-year old.

I nightweaned my firstborn when she was about 18mos. I know that some familes do it sooner, but we weren't ready until then. After we nightweaned she started sleeping through the night.

I'm thinking that my little babe (now 9mos) will nightwean earlier than her sister, but probably not until 15-16mos. I've decided that I definately won't attend any births until then, and I'm wondering if even that is too soon.

It's hard. Parenting young children is all-consuming. I believe that working as a doula would give my soul something that it desperately needs right now, something that would even (indirectly) benefit my kids, but I can't do it because parenting young children is so consuming.


The days are long but the years are short.
post #15 of 15
Thanks mamallama.
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