I’m thinking of taking a training course and becoming a certified doula (a person who acts as a pregnancy/labor advocate and sometimes coach), and I wondered what experiences people here have had with doulas. Are they useful? In the way? If you used one once, would you again? Did your insurance pay for it? If not, did that influence your decision to use or not to use a doula? If you’re a dad, did the doula interefere with your vision of your role within the labor, or was she helpful and calming?
I don’t really want to get into the medical training needed to become a midwife (plus, from what I understand, midwifery is technically illegal here in Illinois, though nurse-midwives are legal, but that means getting a nursing license first.) I really want to help women by being an social/emotional support during pregnancy and labor, and want to be an interface between them and the often threatening and unfamiliar medical community. I don’t have a particular agenda about natural vs. medicated labors - I think each woman should be free to define her own ideal, and I’d do everything I can to make sure that her birth plan is honored as much as medically possible. I’m already a massage therapist, so there’s that bonus: I can give trained massages to mom (and dad and anyone else who needs it) during the labor.
If you are a doula, do my reasons seem in-line with doulas’ goals and identity? Do you work privately or through a hospital or OB? Is it a full time job for you or a supplemental income or hobby? What advice would you give a doula wannabe?
Thanks for any thoughts or advice you can give!