Questions about becoming a postpartum doula - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-14-2014, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Questions about becoming a postpartum doula

I am leaning toward certification through Childbirth International, and am interested in opinions about it.

I'm not interested in working nights, how much will that hamper my prospective jobs?

Will I be able to get jobs being only a postpartum doula, I see mostly people who are birth doulas or a combo of certifications.

Also, I am considering the idea of first getting my feet wet with getting my postpartum doula certification, and eventually maybe getting certified as a CBI breastfeeding counsler, though I know even less about that. How does that translate to adding to my postpaartum doula job in what I do and what I would get paid?

I would love to be able to visualize what a typical week or month would look like as a postpartum doula, amount of jobs, hours at each job, maybe even salary.I'm wondering what kind of living I can expect to make, I live near San Francisco in the north bay. And, finally, a discription of an "average" day at work is like would be so helpful.

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any light you can shed!!
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#2 of 6 Old 07-28-2014, 11:01 AM
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#3 of 6 Old 08-02-2014, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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(Thanks for bumping!)

I've done more research and am thinking about going with Birth Arts International instead, and doing both postpartum doula and lactation educator at the same time - because I'll be able to afford to do both with their program.

I spoke with Demetria of Birth Arts and she was really personable, and took the time to answer my very long list of questions with great explanations and stories.

I would still very much love to hear from anyone willing to share regarding my original questions and any experiences with Birth Arts would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance!
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#4 of 6 Old 08-20-2014, 11:46 AM
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Hi! It was your post that led me to Mothering after a Google search on CBI. Thanks! This looks like a great place and I saw several intelligent thoughtful posts that made me think this could be a good fit for me.

I wear many hats at this time, one as a birth doula. I seldom,though occasionally, do postpartum work and I can tell you in my area it is a growing field and there is a significant demand , this said I don't know how that will translate into your market as we are widely separated by geography! I came across a forum on the "business of being a doula" on another platform, you may find there are people there who can provide you with answers in a timely fashion. From my own research it does seem that who you are trained with does not seem to matter , that you are trained and experienced does. References from past clients and a website are key. Personal referrals are golden! One thing you may want to consider is if the training you are being provided is accepted by and insurers as it is my understanding that some insurance companies are providing payment for DONA certified doulas, although I do not know if this is so on the postpartum side of the business or if this extends to certified care providers who choose another training. Good luck with it!
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#5 of 6 Old 09-15-2014, 09:05 AM
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Thumbs up Yes, you can do it (:

You might consider They offer postpartum doula certification and have some amazing doulas on their board. I am working on my postpartum doula certification through them now.

Yes, you can be a daytime postpartum doula and get jobs. New moms need support at all hours of the day or night. Some of them do not realize how valuable a postpartum doula is so you will have to sell your services to them but a postpartum doula is worth it! During the day you can help with baby, give mom a chance to catch a nap, run errands, cook, pick-up/clean, and offer coaching to the new mother. There is a lot you can do (:
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#6 of 6 Old 09-16-2014, 01:00 PM
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Hi! I do only daytime work, and not even later in the afternoons, due to my own family's needs, and I get plenty of work. Not full time, but I don't want full time. I have a few overnight doulas who I refer to if the client is interested in that. I put my usual hours on my website, so most of the time people see that and only contact me if it falls within their needs.

There isn't a "usual" day, really. It can vary from someone who needs more physical, hands-on help around the house and with the baby (complicated BF situation with pumping, washing pump parts, preparing bottles, SNS, housework) and needs several hours, several times a week, or, more frequently for me, are people who need a few consultations for emotional support, talking about a traumatic birth, breastfeeding support, normal infant behavior and sleep concerns, demonstrating different baby carriers, helping them find mom's groups, lactation consultants, etc.

Since I like part time, and the consultation type clients, and doing breastfeeding support mainly, word of mouth spreads and that is mostly what I get. If you tend to work with people who want daily or full day support, that spreads in their circle and you tend to get that kind of work.

It also depends on how you structure your payment- since I don't want a ton of hours, I only have them pay per hour, as needed, so if they just want me to come for one 2-hr breastfeeding visit that's fine. Some doulas have clients purchase, 10, 20, 40 hours ahead of time so they can anticipate their work hours/income. Etiher can work- it just depends on how much you need/want to work and earn.
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