Make sure the reality of never having a steady paycheck or consistent work schedule will fit in with your families fiances and style.
It was a process for me to find my place and what i really loved without witnessing the horror of modern American birth, so I trained for a few things in the birth community until i found my tranquil little niche.
I changed careers ( I was in the union as set decorator and prop master working on TV commercials) when my daughter was four years old and in nursery school half a day I went back to college to become a nurse midwife. While in school it dawned on me I was not going to be a midwife or go to births as a labor doula.
The reality of a midwifes life was not right for me or my family and could not do both and remain happily married and raise my child without all the insanity of coordinating and stress. It created a ton of conflict in my marriage for me to go to births in the middle of the night, my husband had a very inflexible high pressured career and zero flexibility at work to meet the needs of taking care of our daughter at night or in the mornings when I was with other families at a birth. I did not really grasp or appreciate the sacrifice to my family life. I also realized how much I truly hated being at labors and witnessing what goes on in a hospital. So i had a miserable family and I hated being in hospitals as a labor doula!
So, I started working as postpartum doula through a service (they just fed me work).
At the same time I studied to be a childbirth educator through International Childbirth Education Association local chapter (NYC/CEA), I wanted to become part of the local community studying with CEA locally at the monthly educational seminars which were fabulous. I also made great contacts and friends in the local birth community that allowed me to build my postpartum doula service ( since 1991 I own a postpartum doula service that employs 13 doulas).
My mentor was a Bradley teacher that was also certified as ICEA educator. I hated teaching childbirth and did not continue teaching (all those sad hosptial births got to me!)
I found my true calling helping women with breastfeeding.
I started studying and doing a few years of the clinical work with Lactation consultants to become a (IBCLC) board certified. Became certified as a postpartum doula with a defunct National association of postpartum care services, now I'm certified with DONA. I like the reach DONA has, they do an excellent job of marketing so i still get many referrals a week from DONA.
I have had the most amazingly wonderful work life as a ppdoula and doula service owner.
Happy trails on your journey,
Most of us working in the birth community became accidental birth & breastfeeding advocates when we became mothers.