Everyone gets into birth work for different reasons. While each person’s journey is unique, there are a few common threads we see here at Doula School. It could be the flexible hours, doing something you love, being your own boss, working with newborns, or something else! Today we’re looking at the top 5 reasons to become a doula.

Non-traditional Hours

If you’ve been working in an office setting, you’re probably used to the 9 to 5 routine. As a doula, your hours are VERY different. The good news is that even though your work hours are non-traditional, you do have some control over it. For example, as a birth doula you will be scheduling consultations and prenatal visits with clients. And for the births you’d be surprised how infrequently two will happen at the same time. Of course you will ALWAYS have a back-up doula just in case. We never know when we might need an extra set of hands!

As a postpartum doula, you may be interested in overnight work. In this case, you arrive at a client home around 10 pm and stay through until 6 am the following morning. This work allows many parents to come home and get their kids off to school and then sleep during the day, while still being home and available from the time school ends and until bedtime. While some doulas will do these shifts 5 nights a week, others may only do 1-2 shifts a week, to augment their other duties, and of course many postpartum doulas prefer to do day work.

Be an Entrepreneur

One of the joys of birth work is you can often be your own boss! Many of us think of entrepreneurs as managing large businesses, and sometimes that’s the case! But you can also be an entrepreneur of your budding birth work business. Depending on how you decide to set up your business, it could mean designing a brand, setting up a website, deciding on services/prices, and more!

You could even end up hiring staff and expanding your company into an agency over time. Our founder Stefanie Antunes started out working as a single doula, and today he has multiple businesses and a group of 30 doulas that work either part or full-time. The sky really is the limit with birth work.

Make a Difference for Families

This is one of the top motivations we hear from students – getting to help families during such a pivotal time in their lives. The journey can start when people are newly pregnant and can last all the way through the first few months postpartum. Having a support system in place can make such a huge difference for birthing people and their loved ones. As a doula you are a KEY part of this team, helping to provide physical, emotional, and informational support at every stage. Doula work is one of those fields where you go home each day knowing you’re doing something that matters in your community.

A Personal Connection with Birth

For many doulas, their connection with birth work started during their own pregnancy and birth experience. In some cases, they have always had a deep rooted love of birth and wanted to carry that forward into their professional lives. However, in other situations a negative birth experience has made some future doulas realize there is a real need for better support. After a negative birth experience, many doulas feel called to help others have more positive experiences. Their move into birth work being less of a career change and more of a mission to ignite positive change. We always encourage people in this situation to ensure they’ve done the tough work of processing their own birth so they don’t get triggered when beginning work as a doula. Whatever your connection to birth, use that as fuel when you start your journey as a doula.

You’re Looking for a Side Hustle

You may be looking for an additional income to supplement your existing work schedule. What’s great about doula work is you can control how busy you are or aren’t. In times where you want to work more, you can take on more clients or postpartum shifts. Or when you need to take a step back, you can plan ahead and ensure you’re not taking on too much. Additionally, if you aren’t sure about doula work as your long-term career, you can always start out as a side-hustle to see if it’s a good fit, before making a decision.

If you’re not sure about doula work and have questions, our team is always available. You can connect with us here and a member of the group will be happy to help. If you’re ready to take the leap and start training, we have a number of programs coming up soon. See the latest class schedule here.