If you are interested in becoming a doula and want to get your foot in the door, consider participing in volunteer programs in order to acquire more experience and to develop professionally as a doula. Here are 5 great reasons why you should make volunteer work a part of your doula training:
Advantages to Volunteering as a Doula in Training
1) Get mentored by experienced doulas: If you are thinking about becoming a doula or if you are just starting out as a doula, receiving mentorship from a more experienced doula is critical to your career. A more seasoned doula can show you the ropes of being a doula and help you gain more skills. It is much easier to learn from the personal guidance from another doula than if you were training and learning by yourself.
2) Gain valuable training that is free of charge: Receiving training as a doula is not cheap. Many certification programs charge $500 or more for training, but volunteering is entirely free!
3) Real world, hands-on training: Getting practical, real world experience is invaluable to someone who wants to be a professional doula. Potential clients make hiring decisions based how much real experience a doula has, no on how many books she has read. Volunteers have a very easy time getting hands-on training by offering to assist and support expectant mothers for their labor and birth. Mothers seeking a doula will get free assistance while you receive real world training; it's a win-win situation.
4) Train at your own pace: If you're like most people, you may have a busy daily schedule. There are bills to pay and kids to get ready, so you need doula training to be flexible. Volunteering empowers you to be flexible with your time and you get to decide when you want to work and train.
5) Getting referrals and engaging in networking: If you volunteer at a birth center or a specialized hospital, you will be surrounded by expectant mothers. Take advantage of the situation, by networking and building contacts for your business. If a client is happy with your volunteer services, be sure to get a recommendation or referral from them to help grow your career as a doula.