One thing I get asked often is, "How do I become a doula?".
The first thing to think about is how would being a doula fit your lifestyle?
If you want to become a birth doula, and attend births, you have to think about how the on-call life will work with your current life! If you have children, will there be someone to watch them if you're at a birth? Sometimes I'm off attending a birth for literally a whole day! Balancing personal life, family commitments, and other responsibilities can be challenging, requiring excellent time management and a supportive network.
The next thing to ask yourself is, how do you manage being in a medical environment? Navigating medical environments can be daunting for birth doulas. Advocating for the birthing person's choices and ensuring their voice is heard in the midst of medical decisions can be challenging. Building strong communication skills and fostering positive relationships with healthcare professionals is vital for effective collaboration in diverse birthing settings.
Some doulas choose to only support less medical births, and only attend home or birth centre births.
Birth is inherently unpredictable, and despite meticulous preparation, outcomes may not always align with expectations. Doulas may encounter situations involving medical interventions, complications, or unexpected challenges. Navigating these moments requires resilience, adaptability, and the ability to provide compassionate support even when faced with uncertainty.
Becoming a doula is not just about acquiring knowledge and skills; it's also a deeply emotional journey. Witnessing the miracle of birth and providing support during challenging moments can be both rewarding and emotionally intense. It's essential to develop self-care strategies and build a support network within the doula community to navigate the emotional aspects of the profession.
One of the ways I found community as a doula was to not only connect with other doulas locally but to connect to a world wide network of doula's through the Birth Worker Community Membership. This industry is all about support and we need to accept support and build up our networks so we can pass that support on to the families who hire us.
I hope to see more doulas join our local network so more and more families have access to the support they deserve through their birth journeys!