Week 8 – first doula opportunities

Week 8 – first doula opportunities

My doula profile has been live on the Doula UK site for a few weeks now and this week I had my first enquiries. One was for a birth; the other for  post-natal work. I replied to both to say I was interested and had an interview for the birth job. This is supporting an older mother who is expecting her second child and whose partner may not be able to be at the birth. Due to her age the hospital has said they will want to induce her if the baby is not born before he due date. We got on well but she seemed disappointed by my lack of doula experience. This is something I’m quite worried about – why will anyone want to hire me to support them through their labour when there are plenty of experienced doulas out there? My fee reflects the fact that I am a “mentored” doula, but nonetheless I wonder.

I have been doing quite a lot of research and reading around current thinking on birth and early parenthood – one of the main things that doulas offer is to be a source of information for their clients. This has included a book on “hypnobirthing” which for those who don’t know is about the mother and her partner using self-hypnosis and mindfulness to manage the labour. I was fairly sceptical – but the book (Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher – there are lots of others out there) made a lot of sense.  And the material around the impact of hormones in pregnancy and labour and the importance of activating the Parasympathetic nervous system aligns with what I have learnt on my Anatomy and Physiology course about the role of massage in promoting relaxation. I can see that the techniques could be helpful not only in labour but also for managing stress and assisting sleep during pregnancy and after the birth.

On the massage front I have sent a message out to all those people who I massaged as part of my course to say that I hope to be qualified soon and offering them one last free massage as a thank you – some take-up but not as much as I’d hoped.