That's what leads to me these questions:
Have any of you heard of doula group practices where two doulas share the "on call" and prenatal and postpartum support?
I'm thinking because my friend and I both have young children that we could be doulas together, where we could coordinate births and meetings with pregnant moms and then switch off on taking care of our own children. And in the cases of exceptionally long labors, we could take over for each other to make sure we are not away from our children for as long as some labors and births.
I'd love to hear thoughts from the ladies here!
M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey
But as I gain more experience I would really love to have someone I trusted to practice this way, because being on call 24.7 with little kids does truly suck.
RN-BSN 5/11, CBE, former doula
mom to Reaghan born underwater into midwife's hands 1/17/07 & Myra born surrounded by doulas and midwife at home 1/12/09. Birth Educator, and Photographer, Baby #3 Coming May 2013!
We both attend prenatal meetings, and the mamas know that one or both of us will be at their birth. Sometimes they start out feeling like they'd really only want me (I'm also a CBE and about 1/2 my students ask me to doula for them), but then they meet one of my partners and they feel much more at ease. It's just as far as I'm willing to go right now, in terms of balancing doula work with my family life.
I have found that it's been really important for me to choose partners who have a really similar personality and style to my own. This is really important for the comfort level of the moms.
So far, no problems with this model! We require a deposit, which is split 50/50 to cover prenatals. Out of the remainder of the fee, which is paid at 38w, a portion goes to administration/marketing for the business, and the rest to the doula who does the birth.
here's our site... http://www.littlerockdoulas.com/contact.htm
there are a handful of doulas a couple of midwives. we offer childbirth classes and another one of our ladies does hypnobirthing classes.
it works so wonderfully. for every client the main doula has a backup doula that will meet with the client too, once or twice before she's due...just in case something happens that prevents the main one being there.
we have a house that we can meet with clients at and an area to do prenatal massages. they also use the house for women to labor in if their house isn't conducive to that...or they want to be closer in to the hospital they are delivering.
once a month we meet to focus on a topic of 'professional development' you could call it and go over birth stories. it really helps to vocalize with other doulas issues that happened and brainstorm ways that we could do better or just support and say 'you did great!'
its such an amazing group of women!
I actually think this is a great system as long as the 2 people have a similar philosophy as doulas and can manage the business portion easily enough. Clients benefit form each of our strengths prenatally, have built-in backup that they know if there is an emergency or illness, and can have some fresh energy at a really long birth. I should add that childcare isn't really an issue for either of us but I can certainly imagine benefits in that area as well.