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January 18th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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therevslady therevslady is offline
Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
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
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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