My doula life | The Life of K: My doula life

Friday, February 6, 2015

My doula life

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You'd have to be under a rock to not know that I'm a birth doula. I started my business two years ago, Tiny Feet Doula Services.

Not all birth doulas get certified and I wasn't sure that I would either. It took months of back and forth (why certify when most clients don't ask about it/don't care either way?) but I finally decided I would. I've been working towards it for the past two years - getting all my evaluations, putting together a resource list, attending a breastfeeding workshop and auditing a childbirth education course, and doing all my readings. Early in January, all I had left to do was a 500 word essay on the purpose and value of labour support.

Google that. Tons of doulas have posted the essay they submitted for their certification. I didn't copy any of the essays, but I read a few and I stopped worrying so much about it. It was the last piece and I just had to write it. Well friends, I got it done, put everything together, and submitted my application for certification in mid-January. What a relief.

Since then I've been able to relax a little. I still had a client I was waiting on, and now that she's delivered, I can REALLY relax. I never realize how much being on call affects me until I'm done. That first night off call I sleep like a rock and I'm able to breathe easier. How nice.

In all my free time (ha!) I wanted to take a look back at my year as a doula. I did this last year (review of 2013) and liked seeing everything in one place. This year I feel like I've accomplished so much. Let's take a look!

In 2014...

- I interviewed 15 times and was hired 6
- I attended 4 births at 3 different locations (Civic, Queensway Carleton, and the new Birth Centre)
- I did 5 prenatal and 9 postpartum visits
- I audited a childbirth education class (Lamaze Ottawa which I would recommend to everyone)
- I went to 6 DoulaCARE meetings (DoulaCARE is now the Ontario Association of Doulas)
- I went to the DoulaCARE retreat and had a great weekend with some wonderful people
- I attended workshops on Communications Strategy, the Rebozo, Belly Binding, and the Doula Band
- I did training for a volunteer birth companion program with Mothercraft
- I attended 3 info sessions at the Birth Center

I'm proud of what I've done, but I do have some things I want to improve on or do more of. I'd like to get more clients and have a better interview rate (6/15 isn't great). I'm going to be going through all of my paperwork and making adjustments where necessary. I hope to add soon that I'm a certified doula. As I continue to gain experience and knowledge my fees will increase. I also hope to expand on the services I offer, including things like placenta encapsulation (my experience with it here) and a comfort measures class.

Already this year, I've applied for certification, signed up for a business training, and booked one client. Here's to a big year! 

Tiny Feet Doula Services on the web, on Facebook, and on DoulaMatch.

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