Friday, January 21, 2011

Would You Use A Doula?

After looking into how to possibly get into the field of lactation consulting or doulas and midwifery I found a quasi-local workshop that's just a few weeks away to start the process to become a certified doula.  I contacted the workshop leader and she was kind enough to get back to me almost immediately to send me all the information and agree to let me still sign up for the workshop at this late date. 

I have to say I LOVE the idea of doulas.  I love the idea of working with an expectant mother throughout her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.  Technically, there are different doulas for each of these, but one can become certified as a birth and postpartum doula at the same time which I think would be both most beneficial to the mother and also the most enjoyable to me.  Why would you want to leave the mother at birth and turn her over to someone new? 

Anyway, what I think is so neat about being a doula is you can offer emotional, educational, even physical support to the expectant or new mother without actually being the person who delivers the baby.  This is not something I'm necessarily interested in, which is why I tend to lean more towards becoming a doula than an certified nurse midwife.  I'd rather kind of be the person assisting and offering help where ever I could, but not actually delivering.

On the other hand, I don't live in New York City or LA or some other extremely diverse and progressive metropolis where there are likely a lot of women who have the money and the want to add a doula to their birth team, and I never will.  So is this really a realistic choice for me?  Will it be a huge waste of time and money because in the end being matched with an expectant mother would be something that happened too rarely for it to be worth my while?  I mean, as much as I want to find something to do with my life that I could enjoy and even love, ultimately I still have to somehow support my family, right? 

I don't know.  There's a lot to think about.  It's no stretch to say that these ideas are definitely in their infancy and I'm not even sure they'll ever make it to toddlerhood let alone become fully grown.  But for now it's something I'm trying to find as much information on as possible to see how any of this might fit into my life and if any of it is a good answer for me.  How will I find the time and money to pay for the training for whatever I decide to do?  Can I afford to take more time away from my kids by adding something so time-consuming into my daily repertoire?  These and so many more are obviously questions I need to answer for myself pretty soon. 

The birth doula workshop leader has given me until Tuesday to decide if I want to join her workshop or not.  It's $300 plus I'd need to get a hotel room for 2 nights.  I'm not sure if that is something I can really work into my budget or justify.  I definitely can't justify it if I'm not 100% sure about what path I'm going to choose, so it looks like I have a long weekend of thinking ahead of me. 

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