When I graduated high school, I thought I had my future mapped out. I had always been fascinated by the beauty of pregnancy and believed that becoming an Ultrasound Technician would be the perfect career for me. However, as I began my studies to become a Medical Assistant, I discovered my true passion for patient care and nursing. I had chosen the medical assisting program as a steppingstone to a sonography career, but it ended up being the starting point for a new journey.
After completing my program, I gave birth to my baby girl and made the decision to put my career on hold to focus on being the best mother I could be. I took on a live-in nanny position while my husband was stationed overseas, and it was an incredible experience to be able to care for children while also spending time with my own baby. This experience reinforced my desire to help others and solidified my decision to become a postpartum doula.
Photo by Jenna Norman
The word "doula" comes from ancient Greek, meaning "a woman who serves". As a postpartum doula, my role is to provide emotional and physical support to new mothers during the fourth trimester, or the first few months after birth. It is such a fulfilling career, and I can confidently say that I have found my calling.
For anyone interested in becoming a postpartum doula, the journey may look different for everyone. But for anyone who wants a rewarding career and feels their passion is to serve, this may be the job for you. A good starting point is to research different postpartum doula trainings and compare the core values and mission statements of each program. It's important to feel aligned with the person who will be training you.
Personally, I had already had several years of infant care experience when I discovered this line of work, but it was actually four years that I had been working as a doula before I sought out formal training. The role of a postpartum doula is not only to care for the baby, but also to be a support and guide for the new mother during the postpartum period. This requires a deep understanding of the importance of "mothering" the new mother.
I found my training through the Newborn Mothers Collective, and Julia Jones' approach to postpartum care immediately caught my eye. Her dedication to helping women navigate the fourth trimester, as well as her outlook on the postpartum period, aligned with my own passion. Her statement "When a baby is born, so is a mother" sealed the deal for me, and I knew I had to enroll in her program. I was especially intrigued by how she dived into postpartum traditions from all over the world and her desire to change the postpartum care paradigm.
As far as infant care goes, it's important for postpartum doulas to educate themselves on newborn care, be up to date of safe sleep practices and always have a growth mindset. It's also helpful to read a breastfeeding book if you've never had your own experience breastfeeding.
For anyone considering a career as a postpartum doula, I highly recommend checking out the Newborn Mothers training. As an affiliate, I can personally attest to the quality of the training and the proficiency of the instructor, Julia. I have truly enjoyed my experience and appreciate the continued support I've received from her.
Seeking the support of an experienced postpartum doula and lactation specialist? I'd be happy to set up a complimentary call for you here.
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