Develop into a Doula – Get Paid to Assist a New Mother!

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Are you looking for a role that will enable you to use your skills to help a young mother through the earliest days of her child’s life? If you love children and have calm, caring behavior, becoming a doula might be a good choice for you. You will take on a caring role and temporarily become part of a family. You will find the satisfaction of regularly helping a new mother even at the end of each day.

Here, we’re going to think about what it could mean to become a doula, discuss how doulas work, and think about some alternative roles if you don’t think this route is quite right for you.

What is a doula?

Types of doula

What doulas don’t do

How do doulas work?

How to become a doula

Help a Young Mother: Alternatives to Becoming a Doula

What is a doula?

There are doulas who support mothers while they are pregnant, during childbirth and sometimes afterwards when they enter motherhood. They are just a support function and can perform different tasks depending on the needs of the family or the expectant mother.

This support can be practical or emotional and include some or all of the following tasks:

  • Participation in prenatal appointments with the parents-to-be
  • Support during childbirth, including help with breathing exercises and calming down
  • Discuss any problems that occurred during or after the birth and provide emotional support if needed
  • Help feed the newborn if necessary
  • Help around the house, for example with older children or with cooking or cleaning
  • Support with breastfeeding

You can learn more about doulas from Doula UK.

Types of doula

This job is very varied as the help a young mother may need can vary depending on the family and circumstances. Some families require a doula to provide emotional and practical support until birth but not afterwards. Others may hire a doula to be available specifically for the days before, during, and immediately after the birth. Others may not need help until after their baby is born as they get used to being parents or start looking after more than one child.

As a doula, you might decide that your skills are best suited to focusing on just one of these areas. If so, make this clear when you speak to prospects.

What doulas don’t do

It is important to understand that a doula does not require medical training. This is not a clinical but a purely supportive role. Doulas are primarily there to support a mother before, after, or during childbirth. They work with health professionals such as midwives and doctors, not in their place. They cannot offer clinical advice, but they can help a mother get answers from qualified professionals if necessary.

How do doulas work?

As we have found, the tasks a doula must perform and the amount of time it may take will vary widely.

However, in most cases the doula will have a few meetings with the parent / family or family before they are hired. This gives the expectant parent a chance to discuss their needs and the doula to let them know whether or not they can take them in.

If the doula is hired, future work is likely to be relatively informal. It is, of course, up to the doula to ensure that a contract is signed that guarantees a certain number of hours. You should make a decision about payment and how much assistance to provide. If this needs to change later, or if the parents feel they need you longer than they originally thought, you can discuss this in due time.

If you will be present at the birth or provide practical assistance, e.g. For example, caring for older children while the new arrival is born, you will likely be on call well before the due date. This can take a few days depending on what the parents decide.

How to become a doula

There is no set path to becoming a doula. Some customers may feel that a woman with extensive childcare experience or with a few children of her own is adequately qualified. Others may prefer you completed a course so that you can provide proof of your credentials. However, there is no legal requirement to call yourself a doula.

Doula UK has a list of approved doula courses on its website. Courses typically cost a few hundred pounds and are expected to last three to five days. They take place all over the country so hopefully there is one near you. Some are now also offering doula training that is socially distant, which will likely come in handy. You can find the full list here.

Help a Young Mother: Alternatives to Becoming a Doula

If you don’t think being a doula is right for you, there are many other ways you can help a new mom. Here are just a few of them:

Become a nanny

Would you like to look after babies or older children and be part of the family for a few years? Becoming a nanny might be right for you. In addition to childcare, your role could include cooking and cleaning.

Become a childminder

Day mothers usually work within their own four walls while looking after a few babies or children. This may be a role for you if you have childcare experience and have recently retired.

Become a nurse

Would you like to care for babies in a more formal setting? You need a childcare qualification to become a kindergarten teacher, which you should be able to acquire through your local college.

Become a midwife

If you want to play a more active role in the clinical side of childbirth, you could become a midwife. You have to go to college to train midwives so this is a huge time commitment – but you will end up with one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

Do you have experience with a doula or are you one yourself? We’d love to hear your story. Let us know on the forums.

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