Calling all doulas!

(6 Posts)
Davinaaddict Sun 11-Aug-13 20:48:48

Apologies if I'm not posting in the right place - I'm hoping for some advice on becoming a doula, so I'm hoping this is a good place to start smile.

I've got the option of being made redundant in the next few months, so I'm considering retraining to become a doula. I'm currently in a boring office job, so it would be quite a change for me. I'm also the main breadwinner in the household, so I need to be really sure that I'm making the right choice for my family, as well as for me.

I've always said that if I won the lottery, I'd love to spend my time volunteering on the maternity wards, helping out the midwives with the non medical aspects of care, and talking to the mums to be and new mums. Ok, so I realise this is a bit of a silly fantasy idea, what with all the checks that would be needed, protocols etc, but you can see where my idea to retrain to a doula has come from grin I actually cant believe it's taken me so long to get here!

I was wondering if there are any doulas here that would be willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me to help me decide if it's something I could/should seriously consider. Being completely upfront, income is my main concern, with childcare coming up second. What level salary could I work up to? How do manage childcare (I've a 3 & a 1 yo)? I'm certainly not expecting an easy ride of it, but I'm hoping my redundancy will be enough to buffer my earnings until I can earn enough to get by. I just need to make sure we can still pay the mortgage.

I've had a look locally and there seem to be a few in my area (West Yorkshire) - I think 12 in a 30 mile radius. Would it be breaking some unwritten etiquette for me to contact a local doula and invite her for a coffee to ask her some questions? Conscious that I would become competition for her business and I really wouldn't want to offend!

Any help gratefully received! smile

Davinaaddict Mon 12-Aug-13 11:03:16

Morning bump smile

I've been doing some more research and google informs me that the average earnings of a doula in the UK are around £31k. If that was an accurate figure, then that would be great (as long as I didn't take 20 years to get there of course)!

I totally understand that this type of job is not about the money, and actually that's part of the reason I'd really like to change. I'm fed up of making money for people in suits and their stakeholders! I would really like to do something more worthwhile for people. But, I still need to maintain a roof over our heads, which might mean that I can't consider the change at this time sad Or if its possible to fit around a part time job, that might work?

safetyzone Mon 12-Aug-13 12:19:22

Not a doula myself (although am using one) but have you seen this?

http://doula.org.uk/content/becoming-doula

Might be worth contacting them for more info? Alternatively it might be worth putting your question on the pregnancy board as there is more traffic there.

Davinaaddict Mon 12-Aug-13 13:27:48

Thanks very much for replying safetyzone! I have been looking at that site and it has loads of really great info. I was hoping to get some real life viewpoints as well, to see if the reality lives up to the lovely stories. I'm actually quite terrified about starting out on my own, so I'd like to do as much research as possible before making the decision smile

I'll repost in pregnancy as well - thanks again!

My friend is a doula, and she says she would only really be able to take on one client a month, unless you have backup with another doula, to avoid being unavailable if two clients go into labour at the same time. She also works as a massage therapist and does book-keeping two days a week to earn cash. So I think it might not be quite doable as a standalone job, for that reason. Would still be an amazing thing to do tho!

mrsm22 Sat 17-Aug-13 21:56:45

Hi Davinaaddict, I'm posting a little late to this as it's now Saturday night but I had a traumatic first birth with my DS and am wanting to start trying for baby number 2 soon and me and my DH are currently discussing having a doula next time round as I would really like that! I'm coming at this from a different angle but I noticed you said you were in West Yorkshire area as I am too so please will you let me know how that develops as if/when I become pregnant I am really keen to have a doula and have heard what a wonderful help and support they are. Not too sure even really how to find one or how much but I would be interested.

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