How Long Does It Take To Become A Doula?

Have you ever wondered how long does it take to become a doula? Well, if this is a question for which you need an answer, you should continue your reading.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Doula

A doula during labor or delivery is without a doubt of great support for a pregnant woman during her most special day of life.

Table of Contents

What Is Doula?

The word “doula” comes from Greek and means “a woman serving another woman” or “a woman who provides care.” In other words, doula is a person specialized in offering physical, emotional and spiritual support during pregnancy, delivery and first few weeks after birth. Doula is there to support the future or new mother, offer help and advice in any decision regarding her pregnancy or baby, and offer the necessary information that will help the mother trust her body during delivery. Doula should also support the future father or close members of the family, who will actively take part in anything regarding the pregnancy, delivery or the following weeks after birth.

Doula helps the future parents feel safe, surrounded by love and trust. Doula also helps in creating an intimate atmosphere which embraces and encourages the future/young parents.

Doula won`t try to influence the choices of parents regarding the delivery or birth of their future child, but rather accept each of their decision (regardless if the decision is fitted to her way of thinking or not). And even though when it`s necessary double may suggest to the future mother what do to (in what position to stay to be more comfortable, how to breathe, etc) during labor or delivery, usually she will try to offer the necessary support for the mother to be able to listen to her own instincts, trust in them and act depending on what her soul and body tell her.

How Do You Become a Doula?

Practically, anyone! This is actually because a lot of times being a doula isn`t considered a job, but more of a vocation. This kind of work is most orientated towards people who want to help with an open heart. This is because such a person needs to show empathy, have the ability of listening and boost confidence, have a great desire to serve and offer support. And anyone who had these innate character traits may acquire the luggage of theoretical and practical information necessary to form and perform as a doula.

Of course, the professional experience accumulated in jobs related to taking care of human body is useful, because speeds up the process of absorption of technical terms. But it`s not a job that is limited only to nurses, physiotherapists, doctors or massage therapists. If they have their heart and mind open, teachers, housewives or programmers can be excellent doulas.

How Long Does It Take to Become Doula?

Normally, a doula that will assist you during labor or delivery has to finish 7 – 12 hours that involves childbirth education, 16 hours involving childbirth doula training, as well as take part at 2 to 5 childbirths. A postnatal doula needs to generally attend around 27 hours of postnatal doula education and assist at least 2 women with postnatal support.

What Is a Doula Salary?

Taking into consideration client-base, location as well as the doula`s experience, labor doulas generally charge around $300 – $1,500. The average salary of a birth doula along the U.S. is of around $45,000 to $50,000.

Why Would Someone Want to Become a Doula?

Because she passed through the experience of becoming a mother and wants to share this beautiful experience with other future mothers. The motivation comes from the way they want to make the best from the way they gave birth. On a personal level, a doula`s work is therapeutic for those who practice it – it heals and compensate, makes pace with the past! For the future mothers is preventive – it eliminates most reasons of frustration related with the way labor or delivery goes, so this becomes an assumed profound experience of joy and happiness.

Doula`s Specializations

Ideally, one single doula should offer support to the future parents through the entire pregnancy, delivery and the next few weeks after birth. But for each period there`s a specific specialization and doula may choose one of these periods or all of them, according to her own choice and specialization.

Thus, doula during pregnancy is known as “prenatal doula.” This doula can offer, depending on her specializations, emotional and spiritual support, massages and other natural therapies. She also offers information regarding the development of pregnancy and “natural” tips regarding various inconveniences of pregnancy (but doesn`t offer medical diagnosis, medical advice and doesn’t replace a doctor or midwife). Also, there are doulas that if necessary, they`ll also help in various chores around the house (cooking, washing, etc). It very much depends on what doula you found, her beliefs or inclinations. The role of prenatal doula may start immediately after finding out about the pregnancy or in any other period. Her role is quite valuable when there`s a high risk pregnancy and the future mother spends more of her time in bed.

Doula during delivery, or labor doula, meets with future parents a few weeks before birth, and from the moment the decision of employing her is taken, she takes the commitment to make herself available to the parents until after childbirth. What does this mean? The parents may call if they have questions or concerns at every hour day or night. Doula should stay very close to the parents during this entire period of time in case labor starts. Before birth, doula meets the parents a few times, and depending on the specialization, she may give massage, energy therapy, prenatal course and answers to any questions the parents may have.

When labor starts, doula may come to the parents at home to help with the first stage of labor, until they are ready to go to the hospital. She`ll offer her support to the future mother until the doctor will be available. If the parents prefer intimacy during the first hours of labor, doula may wait the parents at the hospital or come with the midwife in case of childbirth at home.

Labor doula may offer valuable support even in case of a C-section. She`ll be close to the mother in the first hours before and after Caesarean birth.

After birth, she`ll again meet with the parents to talk about the birth experience.

Doula after birth is known as postnatal doula or postpartum doula. She helps the parents from the moment leaving the hospital or immediately after childbirth if his occurred at home. Postpartum doula will help the parents taking care of their baby, teach them how to do the first bath, how to dress him and different types of massage for babies. Also, she`ll take care of the baby while the mother is sleeping or in other chores around the house. Postnatal doula may offer the mother support when breastfeeding and give her advice in personal care during the first few weeks after birth. – Read this!

What Is the Difference between Doula and Midwife?

Regardless of the specialization, doula can offer emotional, spiritual and physical support. The midwife usually offers medical support during the entire pregnancy, delivery and a few weeks after birth. An experienced (and probably with a big heart) may offer emotional and physical support, but it`s pretty difficult for a single person to be non-stop around the mother during labor and delivery, and offer her everything she needs. This is especially true for midwives that work in a hospital and have a few mothers under supervision.

Image courtesy of dona.org

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