What Does It Take to Become a Doula?

What Does It Take to Become a Doula?

My first answers to that question would be: an affinity for lack of sleep, loving crazy on-call schedules, and fielding questions that would make other people blush…..

I joke…but not really. I mean, I do miss sleep, but this work is worth it. 

So what does it take to become a doula? Patience. Knowledge. Compassion. Positivity. Study. Reading. Mentors. Practice. Confidence. Connection. Patience. Did I mention patience? 

My family has always joked that I am such an impatient person. I agree, it was once (and sometimes still is) a struggle for me to be patient, but something strange happens when I’m with a client in labor: I become the most patient person. I recognize that birth takes its own time, can’t be rushed, and will unfold in its own way. I have to bring that calm patience to the room. 

This was somewhere around hour 18 of 30 with a recent client (I stepped out of the room for a few minutes).
This was taken in Franklin Square, Syracuse, 2022.

I was honored recently to spend 30 hours straight with a client and her husband as she labored and gave birth. It took much patience, for them and for me, and a lot of the other things I mentioned above came into play too. Because of the excellent training I’ve received, I was ready and able to help them in some of their most exhausting, challenging, and wonderful moments. 

There are so many doula training programs out there. When I started my journey as a doula in 2012 I went with one of the biggest, most well-known organizations. It was fine, and it was only later that I realized the things that were lacking. Over the years I’ve taken additional trainings, read more books, attended webinars, listened to more clients, talked with my mentors, (and had more babies myself), and all of that experience has brought me to today. So, big thanks to: 

  • + Chris at Birth Beautifully – my mentor, trainer, and friend (I’m a certified birth doula and childbirth educator through Birth Beautifully, and I’m also part of the training team – I train new birth doulas) 
  • + The VBAC Link – where I studied and became a Certified VBAC Doula so I could offer the best support for clients working for a VBAC
  • + The Midwifery Institute – where I completed my postpartum certification, adding another level of support for my clients 
  • + My husband Sean and our five kids (ages 17 down to 6) , for always supporting me and encouraging me and being patient when birth work takes me away from them

If you’re interested in becoming a doula, let me know! If you’re interested in having a doula, let’s make it happen. Hope to hear from you soon.