doula plans for the future

My postpartum doula training finished up on Saturday evening, and I’m so glad I found out about the opportunity to do it.  It was another example of “everything working out for good.”  I had planned to take a postpartum doula training up in SF that was held over five Thursday evenings back in July.  However, I was too late signing up; I ended up being the first person on the waiting list, and I never got called.

This opportunity to host a postpartum doula training in my home was not only great from the financial end of things, but it was also great because of a woman I got to meet.  The trainer, D, was a woman with whom I had SO much in common!  Talking with her and getting to know her gave me concrete ideas about how I might realistically become involved in childbirth and doula work in the future.

The biggest, and most surprising, thing that came out of this postpartum doula training was the realization that now is not the right time for me to begin work as a postpartum doula.  Just like being a birth doula, postpartum doula work is something that would be best begun once my children are all in school.  I am hopeful that I may pick up a few doula opportunities here and there, but I can’t go into it fully until I don’t have young kids at home.  However, D found a way to manage to work as a birth doula while her children were young, and she explained to me how she did that.  Thanks to her example, I can see that potentially working out well for me in the future if our family is living in a different place, so it’s an idea to keep in the back of my mind.

However, now is not the time for me to work as an actual doula of any kind.  This realization was a disappointment to me.

I asked D what she recommended that I do with my passion and knowledge about natural childbirth that also takes into consideration the fact that I have small children still at home (and hopefully will have more someday soon!) who need me.  She recommended that I become a childbirth educator.  Oddly enough, that’s what I first considered going into years ago when I first became interested in natural childbirth.

So, my plan now is to gather as much pregnancy-related, childbirth-related, and postpartum-related information and training as I can during this next year.  I would like to get more training in breastfeeding issues.  I would like to get trained as a childbirth educator.  And, even though I can’t really start doing it, I would also like to get my birth doula training.  There’s no place in the country like the San Francisco Bay Area in that it is such a Mecca for this kind of work.  In fact, numerous famous names and authors in the pregnancy/natural childbirth/postpartum issues world live here in the Bay Area!  Often they will come to various pregnancy and birth resource centers and give speeches!  So, in my mind, it makes sense to get as much training as I can while JJ and I are still living here.

I’m very glad I did the postpartum doula training, although I’m disappointed that it’s not feasible for me to start working as a doula right now.  However, just like it worked out with the timing and location of the doula training, I’m hopeful that this roadblock will work out for good, too.  It will be interesting to see how the Lord works things out for me in the future.

And I’m thankful he provided me with the chance to meet D, who I know will be a great mentor to me along the way.