Later, I went on to work as a midwives’ assistant. I monitored the babies during and after labor and delivery, as well as supporting midwives in their medical job. I even started training as a midwife myself. Finally, I discovered how much I love working with families after they bring the baby home.
Now, I am a professional Postpartum Doula, and I offer non-medical support in the home for new families.
While we’re with our clients, we also answer all their questions and soothe their worries. We help to manage their basic needs as well – things like getting a hot meal, and as much sleep as they can!
A Day with a Postpartum Doula:
Working a day shift with the new family is usually 3 to 5 hours. I make sure the family has a warm meal for the day. New parents are hungry but often forget to eat because they’re so busy with the baby.
If there are older children in the house we make sure their needs are met as well. That way, the mother doesn’t have to worry about them feeling left out. I’ve even walked the dog a time or two (since dogs are often the family’s first baby!).
I model safe, comfortable, and appropriate infant care for the parents. I answer questions about breastfeeding and help support mothers in learning good technique, and I also educate them on how to safely prepare and store formula when needed.
I like supporting parents in working together. I like watching someone who’s a little unsure about babies develop competence and confidence in his or her parenting skills.
My job is to act as “scaffolding” – to provide support in the beginning until things feel sturdy enough without that extra support in place!
I don’t want to do everything for a new parent, because that will make them dependent on my help.
Instead, my goal is to simply be present and supportive as they gain confidence and learn how to be the parent they want to be.
What’s it like to work as a Postpartum Doula?
As a caregiver by nature, working as a Postpartum Doula is a very fulfilling job. As a trained professional, you can make a good living as well.
Like any type of employment, there are drawbacks. You’ll be self-employed, which means your taxes will be a bit different to manage. Also, you must manage your own health insurance, since you won’t have an employer managing these benefits for you. You’ll also need to plan for gaps in your income since there will inevitably be time between clients when you won’t receive regular checks.