Frequently Asked Questions About the Birth Arts International Doula Training - Part 1: Considering our program
What makes Birth Arts different from other organizations?
So here's the thing... Birth Arts International believes firmly that our organizational standards of excellence speak for themselves. We believe that there is a perfect doula organization for every aspiring doula. Birth Arts may be right for you but I encourage you to look at the other organizations to see which one fits your doula style and heart. Here is a brief overview of why *I* feel that Birth Arts should be at the top of the list:
That all sounds great, but $450 is a lot of money... is there any kind of discount?
Is it? Really? Sure to some families, $450 is a month of rent or food... but I challenge you to find any other career that can be started and certified for that price. $450 isn't all you might need to spend to launch your full successful business though, so let's break it down:
This feels like a lot, but consider that a newly trained doula can earn anywhere from $300-$600 on average for their fist few births and you can recoup your ENTIRE investment in the first few months. There is literally no way that you can afford NOT to take this training. Especially when compared to the training costs, fees and annual dues of other certification organizations.
There are limited scholarships available but they are limited to special scenarios and you do need to consider the full investment into this. You are looking at maybe around $1,000 for a complete start up into a business that can earn you $30-$80k in the future. My first year as a doula, I made $7,000 and that wasn't even full time and I charged way less than new doulas do now.
Wait, so I can charge money for my certification births?
Hell yeah you can. You should! Birth Arts does not limit what you charge for your births, nor do they require that you charge. You can be free if you want but consider this: no birth is free. Every birth will cost you gas, parking, supplies and potentially childcare. Charge money for your certification births, even if it simply covers your estimated costs.
Down the road, you can raise your fees and even set the high enough that you are able to offer your services completely free to those clients who speak to your heart... do you have a passion for serving teens? Single or military mothers? Mothers relinquishing their babies for adoption? Women of color? Mothers experiencing loss? Keep your heart work in mind while you grow!
You mentioned childcare... and I feel totally stuck. How do I manage that?
Network. Community. The Village. Childcare options may feel overwhelming but you have so many options:
I have been a doula as a married mother of two children (one of whom was still nursing), and as a single mother of three children (again, the youngest was nursing) and as a re-married mother of 5 blended children. I have had other doulas on call for me at night for a flat rate, I have had a long list of "potential sitters" that I worked down as the labor call came in and now I have JulieTheSuperNanny who literally steps into my minivan when I step out to a birth and runs my house like the badass she is. The bottom line being: try out options for childcare and don't be afraid to explore every area to find the perfect situation. I found JulieTheSuperNanny through a neighboring Buy Nothing group on facebook! Be creative!
What about your partner? Are they supportive?
Ah. Yes, the partner. If you are a single person looking to be a doula, you face a different set of struggles that I'll address later. If you are partnered, you need to have a serious and open conversation with your partner about what this will mean for you and your family:
I swear we need to offer a support group for the partners of doulas and midwives... they have many tales of interrupted sex and they know the best pizza places that deliver dinner fast! They also know that the joy they see in us when we walk in the door with amniotic fluid on our pants and vernix on our elbow.... and the way that our work sets an example for our children about following your passion and being a proud business owner... it is worth it.
Are you ready? Click HERE to take the next step!
The Let It Be Birth Doulas will use this space to write blog posts about their work, our doula community here and worldwide, and general birth and parenting.