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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to be a postpartum doula. Please tell me what it's like!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">: subbing...
 

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It's wonderful and amazing, and hard and challenging! Depends on the client and circumstances going on at the time. It is hard to work with clients that have COMPLETELY different views on me about things but part of being a doula is unconditional support. Its amazing when something you say or so makes all the difference in the world for the family you are working for. Hope this helps some and feel free to ask more questions if you have any. I ONLY do postpartum so I have a lot of experience in this area.<br>
Amy
 

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Well, there are *only* birth doulas in my neck of the woods, and no postpartum doulas!<br><br>
-Should I get certified with DONA?<br>
-Do you ever run into challenges, like moms who want to only formula feed or who ask you to just let their babies CIO?<br>
-This is sort of mercurial, but what does a typical postpartum doula usually charge? And what about when you're in training? I assume when you're in training you lend your services out for free!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alaskaberry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8987654"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, there are *only* birth doulas in my neck of the woods, and no postpartum doulas!<br><br>
-Should I get certified with DONA?<br>
-Do you ever run into challenges, like moms who want to only formula feed or who ask you to just let their babies CIO?<br>
-This is sort of mercurial, but what does a typical postpartum doula usually charge? And what about when you're in training? I assume when you're in training you lend your services out for free!</div>
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Hi! I'm a CAPPA trained postpartum doula. While DONA is the most recognized, there are other orgs that provide postpartum training, including CAPPA.<br><br>
The best advice I can give you about charging is: ALWAYS CHARGE SOMETHING. Even if it is only 50 bucks for the week, to cover gas and childcare while your gone, clients will value your service much more, than for free. Depending on your area, you could charge more than that though. the going rate here in NY for a postpartum doula is 40 to 45 an hour. I charge 25 an hour, and will increase it as I get more clients and experience. The client gets a discount, but they still value what they are laying out, KWIM?<br><br>
If you need any help, let me know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Liz
 

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The going rate in our area is around $25 an hour. I have only done overnights, which I'm told is the hardest time slot to get coverage for.<br><br>
I am primarily a birth doula, but have actually been doing quiet a bit of pp overnights lately. Currently, I'm working for a mother of twins, caring for the one month old twins so their family can sleep. I started doing five nights (really hard for me, as well as my family!), and am currently doing three nights a week. It's a lot easier to do three nights a week, as I get a night at home between each overnight, a day to recover from sometimes being up a lot at night, and time to be with my family and get "stuff" done around the house without sleeping all morning to recover from being at work. Now. As I said, I'm primarily a birth doula, and a hard lesson I learned at hospital births is that my ideal isn't for everybody, and that alllllll I can do to do my job well is to support what the mother needs at that time. So, the mother I work with right now said that she wanted to breastfeed. I gave her all the suggestions at my disposal to help her attain that goal...and she never tried even one of them, and stopped exclusively pumping after two weeks. It made me sad, and still does, to give those beautiful babies formula when the mother was making enough milk, and the babies were (are) capable of latch, as well...they never really practiced together, though. However, the mother also had many, many issues to face immediately post partum. This was her choice, and these are her children. I actually co-sleep with them every night I'm there, and the family does as well, when they're "on" at night. They understand that this helps the babies to sleep better and more safely. They're looking at babywearing options, and really like the ABC more and more, the more they see me use it...so there are many things they are doing that "jive" with my idea of parenting...but even if they didn't, if I had done my best to offer them the fact that the information was available and they either looked at it and chose not to follow it OR even just chose not to avail themselves of the information...then I did my job by supporting them in their choices.<br><br>
It's not a doula's job to judge, it's a doula's job to serve the family in the manner the family feels they need. We just suck it up and do our job, understanding that it's not our responsiblity to push our preferences on the family, but to work to support THEIR preferences. And, at the end of the day we collect a paycheck.<br><br>
I've also found (I was a nanny for 15 years before I was a mother) that I interview the family as much as they interview me. I would have no qualms about declining to take a job if I didn't feel comfortable with their protocol, but would also be very sure to suggest an alternitive in the area, so as to not leave the family without support.
 

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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;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alaskaberry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8987654"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, there are *only* birth doulas in my neck of the woods, and no postpartum doulas!<br><br>
-Should I get certified with DONA?<br>
-Do you ever run into challenges, like moms who want to only formula feed or who ask you to just let their babies CIO?<br>
-This is sort of mercurial, but what does a typical postpartum doula usually charge? And what about when you're in training? I assume when you're in training you lend your services out for free!</div>
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I LOVE DONA, so I'm biased but you should check out other orgs.<br>
Challenges, yes all the time but supporting families no matter what their choices is the job of a doula. Do I agree all the time no but that just comes with the territory.<br>
Around 20 dollars an hour, but I live very rural. 10 dollars an hour to start, I did do my certification clients for free.
 
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