Why I’m Training as a Doula

Training as a Doula

I announced on twitter over the summer that I’d been undertaking a very exciting doula training course that I had been keeping my fingers crossed to get on to. I got many excited congratulations (which I sincerely appreciated), plus a lot of questions. So I wanted to address some of those with you today.

Most of you know my policy of never discussing my day job on Rhyme & Ribbons but over the years it’s run the gamut with one thing in common – I’ve always worked with children. Granted, some of those were big children (ie university students) but trust me, sometimes they have the same sort of problems that my little ones (nursery aged) do. 

But I’ve always liked working with the littlest ones the best. I adore babies. I can’t help it. It’s amazing to get to snuggle and spend time with them (and then hand them back to their parents). Surprisingly, I was never the little girl who had a baby doll that she “took care” of. Instead, I was the one with the Barbie that was trying to escape the Titanic or flying around the world (I had a pretty dark imagination as a kid and a lot of my role-playing ended up about me/Barbie saving the day in some kind of disaster). 

I first heard about doulas when Sam’s sister-in-law had one for the birth of her son. It immediately piqued my attention. But living in London and having a million other things on my mind, I shoved it in the back of my brain for a “maybe I’ll research this if I ever have a spare moment” time. 

After having finished the latest big workshop weekend, I put my finger on what I like most about the idea of a doula. You are there to help empower women to make the choices that are right for them in one of the most stressful times of their lives. There are so many “right” and “wrong” ways to parent, give birth, feed your baby, that everyone has an opinion without knowing much about your actual situation. And sometimes with someone in your corner (like a doula) it’s easier to stick to your guns about what you want. 

A doula also offers continuity of care. In a world where the chances are that the doctor or midwife that you’ve been working with throughout your pregnancy is unlikely to be the person on call during your delivery, the continuity of care that you get with a doula is invaluable. Having a friendly face in a sea of strangers can definitely have a positive effect on your calmness. 

Being a doula, to me, is about mothering the mother and I’m so excited and thrilled at the prospect. It’s such an honour to think that someone would welcome my presence in this most personal time in their life. 

I still have months more work ahead of me before I open up shop, but I’m already brainstorming names for my new business. Any suggestions? 

So if you know any pregnant women who’d like a birth or post-natal (after birth) doula, send them my way! 

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  • good luck with your new job!

    • Ah- thank you! I’m still training at the moment so won’t be practicing until next year but I’m very excited! X

  • Woohoo, so pleased to hear it’s all going well for you πŸ™‚


  • I’m so fascinated by this and you’re going to make such an amazing doula! Alice xxx

    • Thanks Alice! I know I’ll be nervous for my first few births, but that’s part of it, right? x

  • Kind of embarrassed to admit I didn’t even know what a doula was until now. Having just done a bit of googling and reading a couple of things, it sounds so interesting! Good luck with it all, and you’re right – what a special thing to be involved in! xx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

    • Thanks Sophie! And no need to be embarrassed – I think a lot of people don’t know. It’s one of those things that’s becoming increasingly common but is still quite rare at the moment! x

  • I’m fascinated about this and have to admit I’ve never ever heard the word, or knew what it was! Are they common?? Maybe as I’ve never looked into having babies, it’s not something that ever cropped up, though I have a big stream of new mothers in our cafe and still never heard the term!
    Good luck with it! Sounds like you’ll be wonderful!
    Holly xxx ///

    • I think they are becoming increasingly common- but only for a quite sad reason (in that pregnant women want continuity of support and NHS midwives are on overstressed rotas so there’s no guarantee that the midwife you’ve been working with will be the same one at your birth) x

  • How amazing! Good for you!
    I actually know a lovely lady who’s a doula in York (and she knows a few others). I’d be happy to ask if she’d have a chat with you if you have any questions πŸ™‚ x

    • Ohh , I perhaps know her already! (We also have a big private group on facebook for doulas in the area so I’m sure to have stalked her already… πŸ˜‰ ) xx

  • Congrats on the fulfilling career change! Who pays the doula? Does the mother pay you directly? Or is it part of the NHS?

    My Barbies had extreme fight sequences and bitter arguments. There was nothing in my day to day life to reflect this, I just played soap opera Barbie alot, a guess πŸ˜‰

    • The mother pays you directly.

      (And the other exciting this is that the hours are so flexible – so goodby 9 to 5 working schedule that I hate!) Now i just need to finish tons of work and classes. Eep!

  • I can see you being so amazing at this! A friend from high school (also very caring with a big heart) was a doula for a while and loved it. Best of luck with all the training!

  • That is amazing and those are even more amazing to be doing this Amanda! Best of luck! πŸ™‚ xx

  • That is really exciting! I didn’t have a doula at the birth of my son, but I could have definitely used help in those first weeks following birth! Good luck with your new venture!

    • You can have a doula with you during the labour and birth as well, and it feels like such an honour to be trusted to share that! x

  • I’ve already told my husband that when the time comes, I want to have a doula. I think they are so important!

    • There are so many studies that show that having a doula present makes the labouring woman feel calmer and more supported. It’s such an invaluable service. I really wish that insurance covered doula services as part of healthcare in America! x

  • Miu

    You make me wish to give birth in the future close to where you live