Everything You Need to Know About Doulas
In this interview, we travel all the way to Birmingham, UK to chat with Miss Lorna, a seasoned professional in the Doula industry.
What is a Doula?
Lorna says, “It’s practicing the art of doing nothing, but helpfully.”
A doula is a professional caregiver who provides continuous physical and emotional support to mothers before, during and shortly after childbirth. The goal of a doula is to make the transition into motherhood an easy one.
Really, doulas provide custom services for each family they support. Typically though, doulas, provide emotional support and make sure that moms stay nourished and hydrated.
What makes a good doula?
“Somebody that can listen with an open heart and without judgement. This is a very intimate service.” – Lorna
To clarify: a doula is not a doctor. They do not take care of any clinical practice or exams. They do not need to know how to draw blood or use needles or ANYTHING like that. A doula is not a midwife, as they do not deliver babies.
Who can be a Doula?
In the words of my dear friend, Chef Gusteau (from the movie Ratatouille) “Anyone can cook!” And in this case, anyone can be a doula!
What’s the Difference Between a Doula & a Nanny?
Nannies and doulas share the custom approach in that they can decide what services they would personally like to provide. Nannies may provide childcare, meal prep, some house cleaning, etc.
Doula services include but are not limited to:
- Offering a quiet presence of security for the mother
- Helping mothers stay calm during labor
- Teaching mothers how to ease birth pain with various techniques
- Offering hands-on training in how to swaddle their newborn, teaching safe sleeping habits, and so on.
Doula Styles: Doing vs. Being
This is where we really get to know Miss Lorna and her doula practice. She calls herself a “being doula” which is really this beautiful presence. A “being doula” provides practical support. But not in a run-around-like-a-chicken-with-it’s-head-cut-off mode.
At a quiet, slow pace “being doulas” give the family permission to take things slow. A “being doula” believes in just BEING with the new mom and maybe even cooking a comfort food meal for the family.
A “doing doula” really takes the bull by the horns and tells mom, “you go rest, bathe, do whatever you need to and I’ll take the baby. I’ll also cook, clean, meal prep, etc.”
How to Become a Doula
If you’ve decided that becoming a doula sounds like your jam, here’s what you need to know.
Doula Certification Programs
If you are interested in becoming a doula, consider getting certified.
Like I’ve said before, Google is your best friend. Just look up “Doula Course Near Me”. Finding a class that fits your needs is what’s most important. There are a ton of options.
Just make sure when you’re looking for a course that you ask yourself, “Does it align with my beliefs and the types of services I want to provide?”
Make a list of specific training that appeals to you. Before signing up, call the instructor and ask lots of questions. You shouldn’t worry about the cost or duration of a program if it matches your values. It’s worth it. Invest in yourself.
How to Find Your First Doula Clients
Once you’ve aced your doula training course, find yourself a mentor!
Lorna is an Abuela Doula and teaches her doula mentees sankofa traditions. Sankofa is an African term meaning, to fetch what is at risk of being left behind. For many, there are cultural traditions that are lost, and she endeavors to bring them back.
Being a doula means nurturing, nourishing and valuing all mothers in the making.
She also helps prospective doulas learn about their own personal boundaries and establish what they want in their personal package. She helps them build a doula website and become public.
If you are just starting out and would like to get some experience, think about offering your service at a slightly reduced fee. That doesn’t mean free. You are giving so much of yourself in this work. Be brave, be bold and just launch yourself! Attract your ideal client.
Looking for a Mentor?
Are you a nanny that would love to step up your nanny game?! Do you want to be happier, more successful and make more money as a nanny!? Contact me to sign up for a consultation.
For the best (in my slightly biased opinion lol) doula mentor, connect with Lorna on Instagram and Facebook @birminghamdoula!