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-   -   O/T and a Question (http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f257-natural-childbirth/2613275-o-t-and-question.html)

daneeleigh January 10th, 2013 03:38 AM

O/T and a Question
 
I happily put in my two weeks yesterday at work. A lot of disputes led up to this decision between me and my boss and many things. The schedule was the final straw. He put me on nights again for two months in a row and that's just not going to happen. My husband and I went through the budget and we can afford for me to quit. Originally I was going to go for another job that I'm in the middle of interviewing for but I'm going to withdraw my application. I think it's best that I stay home with Mason and enjoy my time with him. I never got to do that really. I went back to work when he was three months old and I'm kicking myself everyday because of that. I went to work to pay for our wedding ceremony (we were secretly married but that's all out now lol) but that's now canceled. It's been a busy week in our household lol! Sooooo I'm going to stay at home for awhile and focus on him and school. I'm in school doing prereqs for nursing right now.

My question is for the Doulas out there. I want to work on my Doula certification or just work on becoming a Doula period. There's a volunteer program out here that I think would be a good idea to join to gain experience and get a feel for it. There's a DONA class coming up in March that I think would be smart in taking. My question is how did you take that risk and market yourself to start taking clients? I'm so nervous about that. I've never done anything entrepreneur and I know I would start out by volunteering my services but what a nervous mess I'll be lol. I'm just wondering how you did it? I've been reading everything I can online. I'd call my Doula but I know she's always busy plus she's been established for years so her experience would be different than mine.

Memi January 10th, 2013 06:30 AM

Im not a Doula but id think if you started spreading the word there would be many women in your area that would love to have the opportunity to use a Doula in training free of charge!

therevslady January 11th, 2013 03:18 PM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
I personally sort of fell into the job. I was supporting so many friends and family. I was very active in the birth community and started attending births with a doula friend during my certification. I put the word out there that I was available as a back up and those were my first clients. I marketed myself to childbirth educators who allowed me to speak to their classes. I also went to meet n greets for many professionals that are held around town. Oh, and I met many folks through ICAN.

One of our best resources in Ga is the Ga Birth Network. It has a mentor program that helps prepare you during the process.

And I'm sure this doesn't have to be said, but Facebook. It's free and it's great for networking. It helped me tremendously. There are so many facebook groups out there to help you get to know all the birthy folks in the community. If you network yourself well in the community, then you'll get lots of referrals.

daneeleigh January 14th, 2013 03:44 AM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
See I'm looking for groups to join and can't really figure it out. I know there's a group of Doulas who meet at my birth center once a month but I left that FB group because I didn't have time months ago and never attended a meeting. I feel to embarrassed to rejoin the group. I wonder if I should just call the center and get the meeting time and just go? Without joining the FB group. I also really think the volunteer program would get me experience and maybe a way into the community? Idk, I don't really know how to just crash a group and say "hey I'm looking to get in". You know?

therevslady January 14th, 2013 05:30 PM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
Well, just remember that everyone started out at some point. Do your best to set all that stuff aside, because everyone has a very similar story, no one's there to judge you. Doulas are helpful by nature, and I'm sure they will be super welcoming.

daneeleigh January 18th, 2013 02:32 AM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
Well the volunteer Doula program will not be happening. I'm really put off by the conversation we had because the lady never gave me a chance after finding out I had an 11month old. I've been working full time since he was three months old but for some reason she thought me volunteering twice a month as a doula would be just too much too handle as a mother..... What???? She thought I should look into it when he was older. I pushed that aside and she then asked about my schedule. I said I went to school two afternoons a week but I'm free all the rest of the days a month including Thursdays through the weekends. Oh NO!!! They specifically don't like it when people are looking to be weekend Doulas. Basically anything I said was a No. Ugh. What was the point? She emailed me all week to set up this phone call. I woke up early from sleeping cause I'm working nights to do this and this is what happened. To say I was pissed because this is something I really wanted is an understatement. I really wanted to gain this experience and work with these moms. And then to tell me I couldn't do it because I have an 11m old is a slap in the face.

Sorry just really needed to vent. So off to plan B I guess.... Which I haven't figured out yet. I'm going to look into a Doula Workshop that's coming up. I really didn't want to spend the money but I think I'm going to go for it. Then I'll spread the word the best I can that I'm offering my services for free while I gain experience?

therevslady January 18th, 2013 05:52 AM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
She brought up some valid points. Many doulas think I'm crazy for working while I have young infants. If you were looking into a "doula group" then I can totally understand her points. Doula groups want someone who is taking a full time load, who is available full time for back up. Realistically, taking on clients is tricky with anything on your schedule unless you plan on skipping it while at a birth.

To give you an example of a doula schedule:

Each birth that you are contracted to put you on call from 38 weeks until they deliver. That can sometimes be an on-call schedule for up to 4-5 weeks just for one client. If you are taking 2-3 clients per month, then you live your life on constant call. You cannot leave and must stay within an hour radius of where you live at all times. I had to schedule my family vacation 1 year in advance because of this.

Sometimes doula work is hard as a mom. Just remember, you are the constant support, there long before the midwife in most cases, laboring at home with moms as well as the hospital. You can be gone for days at a time. I devoted 5 days to one mom in the past. Sleeping when and where it was convenient for my client, and not for me. This is also an issue for childcare. Do you have someone who is available to be on-call childcare for you?

If your school schedule is not flexible, then who is going to back you up?

I've seen some new doulas with young children who partnered up and exchanged child care and backed eachother up.


If you current schedule is inflexible and you are not able to find someone to back you up, one option for you to do is to work on your training and try to attend births with other doulas for experience. Contact them and ask if you can shadow them. I have new doulas do this with me a lot. You can then offer yourself as back up to other doulas to help get some experience under your belt.

You also have to consider 1-2 days per week for consultations, prenatal meetings, and postpartum meetings. These are most doula's "office hours."

Not trying to be discouraging, but I understand why she said what she said. A doula's schedule is hard on the whole family. So I tried to show a realistic picture of what doula life looks like.

Great places to meet doulas:

LLL meetings
ICAN meetings
Homebirth group meet ups
Crunchy mama groups

daneeleigh January 21st, 2013 09:35 PM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
This wasn't a doula group though and you don't come in as a back up. You're placed on a schedule ahead of time twice a month and you're on call during those 12 hour time periods. I can easily do two days a month. It's a volunteer program through my local hospital. That's why it was IDEAL! It's set and fixed. You're with the mom for as long as she's in labor at the hospital but that's it. I agree it can take up to two days but I know that in advance and have the childcare and husband as back up. I definitely don't put myself in a situation I don't think I can handle. It was extremely frustrating not to be even given a chance.

I'm going to contact my Doula I used and see if I can schedule to shadow under her but I'd feel so ackward doing it. I'm honestly just discouraged after this incident because this is twice with them and then the other group was not friendly. I'm really finding that the Doula atmosphere just may not be for me here.

MissusF January 21st, 2013 09:48 PM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
You should totally go for it!!! I've thought about becoming some sort of birth worker too. I'm planning to wait until I'm done having kids and we've moved to somewhere more permanent. My LLL leader is a doula. She has six kids and home schools too, so it is doable. She just has to be really selective about clients since she has limited time. She's also worked out a bunch of babysitters since she can get called away at a moment's notice. My midwife has three elementary aged kids and she attends multiple births a month, services 2 counties, and has never missed a birth. I know she also has tons of babysitters lined up so she can be out the door when she needs to be. It might take more planning than it would for someone with no kids, but don't let that stop you!

daneeleigh January 21st, 2013 10:08 PM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MissusF (Post 26999413)
You should totally go for it!!! I've thought about becoming some sort of birth worker too. I'm planning to wait until I'm done having kids and we've moved to somewhere more permanent. My LLL leader is a doula. She has six kids and home schools too, so it is doable. She just has to be really selective about clients since she has limited time. She's also worked out a bunch of babysitters since she can get called away at a moment's notice. My midwife has three elementary aged kids and she attends multiple births a month, services 2 counties, and has never missed a birth. I know she also has tons of babysitters lined up so she can be out the door when she needs to be. It might take more planning than it would for someone with no kids, but don't let that stop you!

Thank you. I'm going to talk to some moms this week at a play group I found and see what they know in this area. I'm really looking to gain experience and not a career which is why the volunteer thing was awesome. Well see. I'm going to keep looking around.

raniaviv February 5th, 2013 06:25 AM

Re: O/T and a Question
 
Good luck sweety with everything!


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