It feels like I’ve ran around in circles figuring out the business side of things for my doula work. It’s hard, it’s a new language, but it gets easier. So far, I’ve worked as a doula on a very limited basis. To an extent, that will continue to be the case for me. I have a “day job” that I love, and that’s priority number one. Fortunately, my day job also allows me to comfortably take clients during certain times of the year. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many opportunities I’ve had to work as a doula, during times that work for me personally, and how quickly and positively the referrals have been flowing in. It’s truly humbling!
It makes sense that I continue to maintain a modest doula business–even if it sometimes feels like more of a hobby than a job–because in my day job I’m beginning to do more scholarship on doula work. Also, I work as a volunteer doula for women who otherwise would not be able to afford a doula, and while that has allowed me to gain a lot of experience with really varied birth situations, the scope of working as a volunteer doula is also limiting in many ways.
Though I’ll admit I’ve had some doubts and fears, this work has come together for me in a way that makes me feel like it is meant to be. It’s similar to my work as a yoga instructor, and similar to my work in the writing classroom. Working as a doula is part of who I am. This is where I’m supposed to be.
Here are a few blog posts that are really helpful for setting up a shop and specific to doula work, all written by Andrea Lythgoe: