So, what is a doula, and how do you become one?
A doula is a qualified and experienced woman who can offer emotional and practical support to a woman before, during and after childbirth. Doulas are there to support partners when needed too.
Qualifications Needed to Become a Doula
In order to become a qualified and recognised doula you must first reflect on why you want to do this role. After feeling that you are ready to begin this journey, you must then find and take a recognised doula preparation course.
Courses vary depending on which company you complete them with, but you must choose from a list of recognised ones. It is possible to go to the Doula UK website to see a list of available courses and where in the Country you can do them. Courses vary in price from £450 – £2000 and can range from being a 1 week intensive course with full time hours to a course spread out over 1 year.
Once you have attended the course itself, you must then ensure that you complete all post-course modules. Following this, you will need to find a doula mentor either through Doula UK or through the company that you completed the course with. You must allow your mentor to support you for a period of 6 months – 1 year, or until you have completed 3 – 4 pre or postnatal doula jobs, depending on the requirements of your course.
After this, you are free to practice as a doula!
This is a very important aspect of being a doula. Having the right personal skills are key to ensuring whether you will be hired or not by mums and dads to be. Personal skills are extremely important, simply because the whole process of being a doula is so personal.
Although the role requires you to have lots of physiological knowledge, it could be argued that personal skills are even more important. Here are a few of the key skills that are vital if you want to become a doula:
- Do you have a passion for learning about pregnancy, birth and parenthood?
- If you have the ability to listen
- Are are patient?
- If you are warm & caring
- You are both empowering and considerate
When you become a doula, professional experience really helps! If you were previously a Nanny, Maternity Nurse, Midwife, Paediatrician, Breastfeeding Counsellor, Neonatal Nurse, etc. it would suggest that you have lots of experience caring for mums and babies in a professional setting.
This will mean that you are already somewhat or wholly familiar with the settings that you will be in later on, and parents may feel extra confident in hiring you as their doula.
Personal experience is just as important as professional experience. If you have previously experienced pregnancy, birth or parenting, this will contribute massively to your ability to relate to your clients.
Even if you have not experienced pregnancy, childbirth or parenting before, but simply have a strong desire to support women during one of the most important days of their lives, that’s perfect too! There’s no reason why you can’t become a doula if you possess these qualities.
If you would like to know more about becoming or hiring a doula, then please get in touch with us at Polo & Tweed and we will do our best to help you with your query.