For the first time ever, this May, Doula Trainings International is combining a labor and postpartum training into one 5-day retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area. For those of you who want to become a doula this is the way to go!
One of the most common questions we get from both doulas and clients is "do you (or can you) do both labor support and postpartum doula work?"
When we originally trained as doulas we were told that doing both was practically impossible. Even in the birth community there was little support for doing both. The reason behind this was that if a doula was on call for births how could she possibly schedule clients for postpartum support. Again and again we heard other doulas talk about this as if those who did both labor and postpartum doula work, were irresponsible to their clients. Is this true? Here at DTI, we believe quite the opposite to be true. You can do both and you are more responsible to your clients if you do.
There are two very real reasons why we believe doulas should be trained for both. One is business and one is pleasure.
First, when we say business, we don’t only mean what’s good for you and your company, we also mean what’s good for your clients and the services you offer. This means that in order to serve your clients to the best of your ability, doulas should be well versed in both sides of the labor and postpartum spectrum. We call this, the “ultimate continuous care package”. We like to think of this as understanding the full circle of care and support. For example, if you work only as a postpartum doula, but have been trained also in labor support, your understanding of the birth process, and how to supporting families through it, is on a much deeper level than someone who has only trained as a postpartum doula. The same is true for the opposite.
When we talk to doulas who have gone from only supporting families through birth to also supporting during the postpartum period they speak about how drastically their practice changed during the first latch after birth. Once those doulas had more breastfeeding education from a postpartum doula training they were much more equipped to educate and help families in those first moments after birth AND during their follow up postpartum visit. These doulas even report that follow up calls with families after birth felt more helpful. There are numerous ways in which each training compliments the other and if you can have access to both we encourage all doulas to seek it out. Also, options are wonderful for possible clients. If you are trained as a labor doula and a postpartum doula you may be more appealing to clients when they are researching who to hire. Again, you can offer the ultimate continuous care package!
Secondly, pleasure. If you offer both services as a doula, you have the ability to be off call once in a while and work solely as a postpartum doula when a schedule is more desired. And when you feel like attending more births, you can jump back into being on call. We believe having the options keeps you excited about your work. Because lets face it, sometimes being a doula is draining and its really easy to get burnt out. So change it up. Give yourself a variety. But what happens if you have to go to a birth while you’re with a postpartum client? Well this is where we encourage a strong back up system. Not only does working with a like-minded doula give you a shoulder to lean on and create a sweet relationship, it also gives you both the support you need to care for clients. It gives you reassurance that someone is there to get your back.
So all in all, YOU CAN DO BOTH!
Join us May 9-13, 2012 for our 5-day Combo Training and leave feeling inspired and ready to offer clients the full model of care. You even save $100 dollars! We hope to see you there.