Aspiring doula would like to join - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-02-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
erikandgregsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New York, 60 miles north of NYC
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi all!

My name is Janet and I am an aspiring doula interested in both birth and post-partum work. I had no idea what a doula was until my first child was born when I was 41. I had a difficult birth, b'feeding difficulties and no outside support. The IBCLC working with me recommended a PP doula, who turned out to be a wonderful lady who really got my "mothering" up and running.

 

I am presently a school supervisor (go figure!!), and financially can't retire or leave to pursue a new career at this time. So my work will probably be sporadic. But I'm determined to push on!

 

A question for birth doulas:  I have never witnessed or experienced a vaginal/normal/natural birth (my 2 births were unplanned c/s). I honestly question my competence to go into a birth situation after a two-day training. Do experienced doulas ever allow "apprentice doulas", if you will, go with them to births (with the client's permission)? I would feel much better if I had some observation time under my belt.

 

Prior to being a school supervisor, I was a speech therapist. Before we ever worked with clients we were required to do 30 hours of observations. This seems like good practice even for doulas. I would even be willing to pay a doula for this privilege.

 

Looking forward to being part of this group!!

erikandgregsmom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-04-2012, 03:25 PM
 
QueenOfTheMeadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: with the wildlife
Posts: 17,836
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)

Welcome to MDC!


 
QueenOfTheMeadow is offline  
Old 08-04-2012, 10:27 PM
 
pokeyac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 3,605
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)

You should see if there are any volunteer doula programs in your area.  Some allow you to sign up for shifts at a hospital and gain experience that way.  There are doulas who will allow new ones to tag along with them, but you have to find a doula willing to do it and then a mom who doesn't mind you being there too.  If she needs extra help that could be great.  In my area, we have a group of doulas who have a Yahoo group and regular meetings and we have had discussions about developing mentoring relationships.  A local group like that is a great way to meet more experienced doulas and start building relationships.  I have been working as a volunteer and have attended 2 births so far.  It's kind of trial by fire.  You just show up and do it.  You have given birth before and even if it was different you can understand how the moms and their partners feel.  You will be great support just by being there.  Good luck!




Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!

Check out our User Agreement.
pokeyac is offline  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:10 AM
 
tiacait's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hello! Welcome to MDC.

 

I am an experienced doula (birth and postpartum) and I often receive requests from student doulas hoping to shadow births. From my own experience, most of my clients aren't really up for a "shadow doula", but I think it would work for the right woman/family. I think single moms are especially great because it takes more than one support person (especially with an unmedicated labor). When student doulas contact me about shadowing, I let them know that I'm up for it, but it would be their job to find the client (rather than me asking my current clients who have already contracted and paid me).

 

Like pokeyAC mentioned, it's great to find clients who are specifically looking for a volunteer/student doula rather than an experienced, seasoned doula. Those clients will be more open to having more than one doula present, shadowing, learning, light discussion in the birthing room, etc. You could contact some local women/family resources in your area to advertise your low/no cost services to find the actual clients and then find some willing doulas who are more experienced to help you during the actual births. Most experienced doulas I know are willing to do a certain number of volunteer births each year and they would likely be willing to couple it together with helping a student doula.

 

I hope that helps! Feel free to ask any other questions or PM me if you'd like.

 

Good luck!


Mama, birth worker, and dreamer extraordinaire. slingboy.gif

 

Please read the NEW User Agreement.

tiacait is offline  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:33 AM
 
maydaymom10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikandgregsmom View Post

A question for birth doulas:  I have never witnessed or experienced a vaginal/normal/natural birth (my 2 births were unplanned c/s). I honestly question my competence to go into a birth situation after a two-day training. Do experienced doulas ever allow "apprentice doulas", if you will, go with them to births (with the client's permission)? I would feel much better if I had some observation time under my belt.

 

Prior to being a school supervisor, I was a speech therapist. Before we ever worked with clients we were required to do 30 hours of observations. This seems like good practice even for doulas. I would even be willing to pay a doula for this privilege.

 

Looking forward to being part of this group!!

Welcome! I'm a new doula as well and totally understand your apprehension going into a birth for the first time. I'm worried about attending hospital births, as my only birth so far was at a stand alone birth center, and we're planning our March birth at home. So, dealing with a hospital atmosphere will be totally new for me. Also, I was surprised in my training that I was basically the only one who had experienced birth personally (had any children), but also the only one who had never attended another's birth. I think part of the training process is getting our feet wet by offer lower fees. I'm pretty straight forward with my potential clients as to my experience and what they are getting for the cost. I finally booked a client, but she is also a friend, which I think will make the process a little more relaxed.

 

As for mentoring, have you check with your local or state doula association? I know that ours has a list of experienced doulas who are willing to mentor aspiring ones. Each has their own stipulations on the process, but it's a great resource. Also, I'm trying to go to as many social gatherings as possible to meet other doulas and to pick their brains. I joined a local birth circle group on Meetup.com, and went to a gathering last week. It was really insightful because the group was made up of doulas, a midwife, and new moms all sharing different aspects of their birth experiences. Finally, I connected with an experienced doula in my town who owns a pregnancy center. I am working as a backup for her and am also going to be on the center's list of available doulas. 

 

I'm finding that this work is all about networking & putting yourself out there to get going and to learn about the process. Get business cards, start a website, post an ad on Craigslist, use Facebook -- whatever you have access to. I am a teacher, and I think my natural desire for knowledge helps me in that I am actively reading and researching birth experiences and support techniques, as well as showing my genuine curiosity to other doulas that I meet. And, they are happy to share! 

 

Good luck!


Beth - blissfully married to Doug. DS - Liam (5/10) nocirc.gif &  Darcy (2/13). homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpgNew SAHM & Labor Doula.

 

babygirl.gif Welcome baby girl! Born at home, in the water, in the caul, and caught by daddy. February 24, 2013!  babygirl.gif

 

maydaymom10 is offline  
Old 08-07-2012, 07:44 AM
 
doulaforyou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You could also check with agencies that work with teens - they always need support.

doulaforyou is offline  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
erikandgregsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New York, 60 miles north of NYC
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, everyone, for your replies and advice. You've given me some very good ideas. As I said, I will probably be only doing sporadic work as I have a very demanding full-time job which I need to keep to put food on the table. :<  I do have two volunteer options. My church is involved with a community group that is starting a pregnancy resource center for homeless pregnant women. Also, a friend at work referred me to a Catholic crisis pregnancy group. I'll be happy to start unpaid.....perhaps that is where I am meant to be right now!

 

Again, many thanks for your ideas. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress! :>

erikandgregsmom is offline  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
erikandgregsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New York, 60 miles north of NYC
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeyAC View Post

You should see if there are any volunteer doula programs in your area.  Some allow you to sign up for shifts at a hospital and gain experience that way.  There are doulas who will allow new ones to tag along with them, but you have to find a doula willing to do it and then a mom who doesn't mind you being there too.  If she needs extra help that could be great.  In my area, we have a group of doulas who have a Yahoo group and regular meetings and we have had discussions about developing mentoring relationships.  A local group like that is a great way to meet more experienced doulas and start building relationships.  I have been working as a volunteer and have attended 2 births so far.  It's kind of trial by fire.  You just show up and do it.  You have given birth before and even if it was different you can understand how the moms and their partners feel.  You will be great support just by being there.  Good luck!

There is a group one county away - I've just joined them. Thanks also for your encouraging words.

erikandgregsmom is offline  
 

Tags
Doula Training
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off