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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,<br><br>
Every since becoming pregnant with my son (now 15 months old), I've had the thought that I would love to work with pregnant and or/ postpartum women. I didn't really know what I would want to do, but I've been reading up a lot on doulas, childbirth educators, and breastfeeding educators, as well as herbalists.<br><br>
I have looked at some of the certification classes, and like the look of Birth Arts as well as ALACE - if anyone has reccomendations or comments on that, please let me know.<br><br>
I'm wondering how a childbirth educator goes about teaching classes. Are most hired by someone? Or do you find a venue, and clients within your own business? And if anyone is willing to answer - have you found that you make enough money at this, or do you have to supplement with another job?<br><br>
Additional questions - I would love to be a combination p.p. doula and breastfeeding educator, but I do wonder if there is much work for either. I can see people paying to have a doula at their birth, but do p.p. doulas have a hard time finding clients? I know I certainly would have loved to have someone at my home after DS's birth, but I never even considered a doula at the time. Also, there is so much free breastfeeding help out there (which is wonderful), I'm not sure how one would get paid work as a breastfeeding educator, unless hired by someone. I would love to be a birth doula, but I can't see myself being able to leave in the middle of the night with my 15 month old co-sleeping, nursing babe - it would be much too upsetting for him, and difficult for my DP. Maybe one day.<br><br>
Hope that's not too many questions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It excites me so much to be looking into this. Any and all info is welcomed!<br><br>
winn
 

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I teach at a local birth center. No, there's no way I could "exist" on my pay from the classes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It's very minimal. The midwife and I see it as my hobby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So would teaching childbirth ed classes be a good thing to do in addition to postpartum doula-ing? I realize it will take a while to gain clients, so there may not be much income at first...just trying to figure out which course I should look at first though.<br><br>
The CBE class looks more thorough (and is twice the cost) of the p.p.doula courses. If I were to take the CBE course, would I be able to work as a p.p. doula without having that specific certification? So many of the books are the same, and I'm sure that much of the course is the same material. (I'm making assumptions - if I'm wrong please let me know!)<br><br><br>
Thanks,<br>
winn
 

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I took CBE cert and doula cert classes as part of my midwifery training. I am not fully certified, and am not sure I ever will be. You can certainly work as a PP doula without any certification, I think. I've been a birth doula for years and never have been anything more than provisionally certified (for various reasons).<br><br>
I think that CBE is a great place to meet pregnant women, insinuate yourself into their lives and really sell the PP doula thing. If you took that route, then you could be really successful! I do think, though, that unless you are going to have a hugely popular certification (like Bradley or Birthing From Within) then you are most likely going to end up teaching classes for women out of a birthing center or hospital. This is okay, but bear in mind that for me it is nowhere near a "paying" job, per se. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Does that help?<br><br>
What are your goals? Do you want to eventually be a birth doula, but you think it will be too hard with your little one? Midwife someday? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For years I have thought that I would love to be a midwife, but must admit I'm just scared of not making the right decisions in an emergency. I'm sure most midwives feel this, but I just don't know if I could have the confidence. I suppose confidence comes with the knowledge, training and experience though.<br><br>
I was thinking postpartum doula and lactation educator until my son is sleeping through the night (most of the time, at least!), and then possibly labour doula after that time.<br><br>
To tell you the truth, as I've read over the websites and looked further into this, the labour doula courses are calling to me. I just don't know if it would fit into my life right now. It's hard to picture.<br><br>
There is a labour doula course being offered in a month 45 minutes away from me, and I think I may take it. This will give me a better idea of what is involved, and even if I never become certified I will never see it as a waste. It is being offered through CAPPA Canada (comments on them, anyone?).<br><br>
Sorry for all the rambling. I'm very indecisive, and I still can't figure out what I want to be when I grow up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
winn
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot to say thanks for your replies, it does help!!<br><br>
While I would love to find work that I love and not worry about money at all...well, I do need to worry about money at least a bit. So I appreciate your honesty.<br><br>
winn
 

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I know your pain about money. I've been a SAHM for the past 5 years, and I'm getting itchy to have more cash! Teaching CBE isn't going to help, much.<br><br>
If you really want to be a birth doula, then I'd suggest that you do take the birth doula classes. Mine included a bit of PP stuff as well.<br><br>
You're in Canada? I have almost finished with the Midwives' Assistant course at Midwives College of Utah. It's VERY indepth and thorough, and might be of assistance to you as you begin your career. It is geared for Canadian second attendants and might fit the bill for you to see if you wish to continue and become a midwife.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I'm a doula and a LLL Leader (so you have some background).<br><br>
Alright. It takes about 6 mos to a year to finish a doula cert. Soooo, by then, even if your babe is still nursing and cosleeping, it will be a little easier to leave in the middle of the night. AND you can even choose to finish the work (reading, exam) for the cert and just save the certifying births till the end of the time you've put aside to work on your certification. Then, you can wait a year or so, if you need to, to start working on births. BUT, if you get your name out there before that and start doing prenatals in preparation for births later on, you'll be in a good place when your baby isn't a baby anymore!<br><br>
For what it's worth, I'm also working on my CBE cert, and plan to do "early pregnancy/cesarean prevention" class through my local school district's community ed classes. They do the advertising for me, take care of collecting money, and provide the space, if I want the space provided.<br><br>
It might be a smart idea for you to do the certs at the same time, and then you could be bringing in money before you are working as a birth doula...and then also will have an extra "perk" to offer your doula clients, and you'll know exactly what kind of CBE class they're getting (yours!),and on the other hand will have some students from the CBE class that end up using you as a doula because of the connection you've formed during classes.<br><br>
Lastly, I am also enrolled in AAMI, a midwifery school. My timeline is such that, when I finally finish the CBE cert, I'll pretty much start right in on the book work for the midwifery certification. I have two young children. SO. First, I don't plan to be able to finish quickly, because my family comes first. Second, I won't do the apprenticeship concurrently with the book work, because, well, see reason one. But SOMEDAY I'll be able to not just support and educate, but catch, too, if that's what the mama wants.<br><br>
I'm a LLL Leader, which WAS on my list of things I wanted to accomplish, and happened to kind of fall in my lap much sooner than I had planned. The upshot is that I can really offer a HUGE network of breastfeeding support. If I can't help a particular client with her problems, then I have a very large group of women who are ready to help me help her! It doesn't pay, no. BUT, it can help a client to decide to hire me, because I have that extra education under my belt.<br><br>
Sooo, your baby is young. Take it a step at a time, and do what you are able to do! Start with the training. Get involved with your local natural birth-workers. Find the midwives and doulas, have coffee. Find out who the trustworthy and helpful docs are--the ones the midwives use as backups. Make connections. That'll make your job easier in the long run, no matter what aspect of natural birth work you're doing. Then, when you're done with the training, you'll be able to go from there. Have fun! There is soooo much to learn, no matter WHAT you decide to do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
onlyboys - Why is the school in Utah geared towards Canadians? I'm at a bit of a loss there. There is a University offering a degree in Midwifery in Canada, unfortunately it's nowhere near me. I know the midwives (the few that we have) in my province are trying hard to get some education here, because we are so short on midwives and need more.<br><br>
courtenay, thanks for your input as well. So you are practicing as a doula with 2 young children? I would love to know how it works for you. I agree that I should start with the training, the reading, etc...and years down the road it may be more doable to actually attend births. I may have to slip the training in between working another job for the time being, although I don't *have* to have an income right now, it would be nice to have a little cash.<br><br>
I have no idea what I would do about babysitters, honestly. Should I worry about that this early? My DP is very busy and has something going on after work most days, as well as some of the time on weekends. He goes to work early in the morning. I'm just trying to picture life with me "on call". I'll have to think more on that.<br><br>
A question I had earlier that hasn't been brought up - is there much work for a postpartum doula? Or would it make more sense to take the labour doula course, certify for that and then take work for both labour and p.p.?<br><br>
Soooo many questions, sorry. I appreciate the responses!<br>
winn
 

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There's enough work around here (Detroit area/surrounding suburbs) that the post partum doulas need help to keep up with the workload.<br><br>
As far as child care, you have a few options. You could find a homeschooler teen-ager, and when you're on call, make her on call. You'd have to have your dh "take care" of them till she got to them in the early morning, but otherwise it should work alright...Or a grandma type from the area senior center, or a college student in Ed classes. I have several neighbors willing to take my kids at the drop of a hat until my "long term" caregiver can get to us. My husband also tends to be more flexible in his time at work, so can often come home. However that seems like it's going to change in the near future, so I'll depend more on my other caregivers. Just talk to people about it. I have one friend I swap time with, which works out well! Other friends are more than willing to take the kids, too, if it's not EVERY TIME I'm on call...so I'll swap asking people to be my "emergency" caregiver till the long term one gets there. I hardly EVER use the emergency caregiver...b/c you get to know the flow of labor, and the clients have directions to call you WELL in advance of active labor, if they can, so that you have your ducks in a row!<br><br>
Bring a breastpump, but don't expect to have time to use it. I am pretty good at hand expressing, which helps a great deal to releive pressure. Expect that the baby will nurse like crazy when you get home (this is from a birth, not post partum work).<br><br>
AS far as networking...it is a REALLY good idea to do this for post partum work.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm wondering how a childbirth educator goes about teaching classes. Are most hired by someone? Or do you find a venue, and clients within your own business?</td>
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Right now all of my students are doula or homebirth (I'm apprenticing with a mw) clients.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">have you found that you make enough money at this, or do you have to supplement with another job?</td>
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My doula and cbe work is all just extra money. It is in no way an income we could live on.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I would love to be a combination p.p. doula and breastfeeding educator, but I do wonder if there is much work for either.</td>
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I think it's a great combination! If you market yourself well, you'll have clients.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So would teaching childbirth ed classes be a good thing to do in addition to postpartum doula-ing?</td>
</tr></table></div>
Sure.
 

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Winnie, the Midiwives' Assistant course is geared toward Canadians because the instructor is a second attendant in British Columbia (??) and she wrote the syllabus and text and created the DVDs. It's really an amazing course, even for me (who is American).<br><br>
I'd encourage you to look into it.<br><br>
I can't speak for the degree part of the college and Canada, but the Midwives' Assistant Orientation is definitely Canadian. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Here's the website for it: <a href="http://www.midwifesassistant.com" target="_blank">www.midwifesassistant.com</a><br><br>
ETA: The course is distance learning, so not in UT, per se. There are lots of Canadian students on our email group. HTH! <a href="http://www.midwifery.edu" target="_blank">www.midwifery.edu</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay now I've got even more questions, lol. Thanks for so much information everyone. This is super helpful.<br><br>
I should clarify that DP is a teacher and we are living off of his income alone right now, so whatever I do will be in addition to that. I don't need to make as much as he does, but we are pretty tight for money right now.<br><br>
onlyboys, I had a look at the midwives assistant course. I see now that's it's online, and is open to Canadians - nice! Would one want to take this course as opposed to training as a doula, or is it something that is used in *addition* to the doula course, so that you can help with the birth in different ways? It does look amazing, and I love that there are so many videos to watch in addition to the work. That really helps with a distance course. They don't give much info on their website about it though.<br><br>
courtenay, it seems that you have things set up perfectly and have really immersed yourself into this! Working as a doula, LLL leader, training for CBE, and beginning midwifery school - wow. Thanks for your thoughts on childcare.<br><br>
I've really been looking into Childbirth International's dual course for labour doula and CBE. It is so much more affordable than doing both separately. Only problem, there is no hands-on training. I think I would consider doing the CAPPA weekend course in addition.<br><br>
So let's say one day I want to be a midwife. Does this look like a good (LONG term) plan:<br><br>
~Certify for labour doula and CBE with CBI online.<br>
~Take weekend doula course with CAPPA for more hands-on experience.<br>
~Work as p.p. doula and CBE while DS is young, then maybe get into work as a labour doula later.<br>
~Take the midwifery assistant course to further skills. (It looks like it would be a good introduction to midwifery, yes?)<br>
~Go into midwifery school (maybe by this time there will be one in my province??! lol)<br><br>
Thanks again,<br>
My head is spinning and DP is just saying "whatever you want to do is fine by me", lol.<br><br>
winn
 

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My husband is a teacher too, so I can totally sympathize. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It's not a doula course. I was just thinking that if you needed to make money, then you could be certified as a second attendant and then make money while still doing the other stuff. Doula training is totally different, imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, I see the (huge) difference now. A second attendant is there for the midwife and assists her, whereas a doula is there to help the labouring mother on the non-medical end of things. It does seem that becoming a second attendant would be a better choice in the path to becoming a midwife, because you work so closely with them. Because I think I will have to wait a while before attending births, maybe the CBI dual course would work for now, and the midwife assistant course would be a good one to take down the road. I appreciate you pointing it out to me!<br><br>
I took DS on a walk tonight, and as I was thinking hard about this decision, a bus pulled up in front of us. It said in huge letters on the side "Are you who you want to be?". I have no idea what the add was for, but it hit me as a sign of some sort. It just seemed so perfect in timing.<br>
Then tonight I opened google and my horoscope came up. It said "Consider what you have to offer to others, for it's time to add more value to your life."<br><br>
I think all the signs say "go"! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
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You sound like me at 1.5 years ago! I knew I wanted to be a midwife someday but right now will just NOT work with having babies and limited ways of education. So I started out with CBI doula and CBE. I do mostly all CBE now. There is a group here very similar to LLL and that's where I get my clients and advertise as private, non-hospital-affiliated classes. I get some doula clients from that and I suppose I could get PP doula from that if that's what I wanted. I teach the classes at my church... they let me use facilities free. I also offer to low income families and to missionaries that come from other countries (like China, Vietnam) to have babies in a "safer" country.<br><br>
All of this I do because I love, not just as a stepping-stone to midwifery. It is, but I don't see it that way. I applied to midwifery school (AAMI) and will be doing that slowly.<br><br>
Hope that helps!
 

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I'm independent, and teach out of chiropractic offices. I've never had a chiro charge me for space, and my classes are always open to them to come in and talk about their practice. I find when I subtract expenses I make very little money. I love it and that's why i do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have the idea that I would like to teach classes for pregnant teens, their partners, and their families (if the families want to join them). DP works in a school that has a teenage parents program, and I may even be able to get space to teach there - how perfect would that be!!<br><br>
What I'm not sure of is what amount a teenager would be able to afford, or if there may be some way that the government could fund the program...I will have to look into this. If anyone has info on things like this let me know!<br><br>
winn
 
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