There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about doula work. You have to be “crunchy”, have your own children, your too young or too old. I am here to tell you not a single one of those things is relevant to doula work.
I began my doula journey well before I had kids when I was working a full-time job and was looking for something to reignite my passion. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but I wanted to do something with babies.
So I signed up for a training course, drove 3 hours to take it, stayed in a sketchy motel and left feeling equal parts inspired and overwhelmed. Taking on something new is scary. Fear is one of life’s biggest paralyzers. All of us are afraid of failing, afraid of change, and transitions to something new often feel impossible.
My journey to birth work was not speedy. I took my time. Took in the learning, and made small changes, it took me almost 5 years to dive into birthwork full-time. Deciding to take a course you are passionate about is the beginning, it’s a step forward, not a deep dive.
Often a barrier to taking that step is the fear of not knowing how to do it. Worrying about not knowing how to do it is a waste of time. Instead, learn how to. Set up an informational interview with other doulas in your area. Ask how they got started and if they have any tips for going forward. If you align with their values and style ask if they are willing to be your mentor.
Also, get to know your training organization. Set up a consultation with the training program you are interested in. Ask all the questions. In fact, check a few out and go with the one that you feel most inspired by.
When I signed up for the doula course at first I was not sure I could afford it but in reality, with a little planning, I made it work. If you are questioning whether you can afford it. Ask yourself: When will you have enough money? Even if you win the lottery, will that be enough money for you to follow your dreams? What changes can you make to your income to set a little aside to take the course? Is there a grant you can access or funding? Do you have a family member or friend who will support your dream with a loan or gift? Nothing is impossible with a little ingenuity.
Lastly, time. It’s on everyone’s minds. How will you make the time? We all have incredibly busy lives and are exhausted and overwhelmed. However, making time for something you love means making the time, even if it starts with 15 minutes a day it’s the first step. Remind yourself that if you’re busy now, you’ll probably continue to be busy later, so set aside time for your dreams today.
So my potential doula. What is holding you back?
About the author.
Sondra is the Program Coordinator for DTC and a mother of 2, a full-time doula and a counsellor. She has a passion for teaching new doulas how to build a life and business that works best for them.