Ready, set…doula!

NS May 24th, 2010

I completed my training this weekend and after I write a ‘reflection paper’ and read one more book, I’ll be a doula. Once I’m on the UK-wide directory I should (hopefully) start getting clients. CLIENTS. Which means interviews, paperwork, contracts, research, meeting strangers in the hopes they like me and then, finally, attending births and helping mothers with their newborns. Holy shit, I’m going to be a DOULA!

I don’t think I had realised just how big a deal this was until I actually began the course. But this isn’t just an interest now, or something I write or talk about, ┬áit’s my career. I have a new career and will be running my own business. I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. Truly. I walked out of the course on the second day bursting with enthusiasm. I couldn’t go home, I was too full of energy. It took a few hours and a few glasses of wine to bring me back to earth.

I was worried for awhile that by becoming a doula I was somehow giving up on the writing, that it was an admission of defeat. But I’ve come to realise that a) that’s not true, I can still write and, once I’ve got the doula business ticking over quite nicely, still pursue a writing career or begin writing that book I’ve been mulling over; and b) becoming a doula will actually expand my involvement in maternity reform and feminist mothering, thereby giving me more contacts, hands-on experience and ideas for my book; and c) the money I earn from being a doula will take the financial pressure off of my writing, letting me relax about the whole thing a little. So it will be a win-win, I believe.

Now I just need three pregnant ladies in the South West London or Surrey areas to be my first clients. I’ll be dirt cheap while I’m a trainee so if you or anyone you know is pregnant, due this summer/early autumn and thinking about hiring a doula, keep me in mind!

And never fear, Noble Savage isn’t going anywhere. I may post slightly less than usual for a few weeks while I get my head around it all and get the business side organised but I’m keeping this site (and Fertile Feminism) going, definitely.

This feels good. It feels right. And I can’t wait to get started.

48 Responses to “Ready, set…doula!”

  1. Hayley says:

    If I somehow magically become pregnant I will definately bear you in mind as my doula, I want one for my next birth! xx
    Hayley´s last blog ..Beautiful Creatures – Review and Competition! My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Hayley, Thanks Hayley. And great to hear you want one for your next birth!

  2. anna says:

    congratulations! could you email me your details for doula-ing? i have a friend who is pregnant & might possibly be interested. i’m in your area. can you get my email address from this comment…?

    NS Reply:

    @anna, I’ve emailed you.

  3. TheFeministbreeder says:

    I’ve been the same way with my childbirth educator certification. I honestly did not realize what I was getting myself into until the paperwork showed up and then I was like – crap! This is really happening!

    My first mom is due any week now and I’m pretty nervous. I really hope I don’t suck at this!
    TheFeministbreeder´s last blog ..Announcing My 2010 BlogHer Sponsors My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @TheFeministbreeder, I thought I saw you mention something about that on Twitter. So you do the childbirth classes but don’t attend the birth, right? I’m looking into doing CBE training soon as well, plus breastfeeding counsellor training. Both of those will take longer but I figured I might as well start so I can hopefully be certified in both within the next year. Good luck with your expecting mom, I hope it all goes really well!

    TheFeministBreeder Reply:

    @NS, I have to attend two births as part of my CCCE certification, but I’ve actually already book FOUR moms this summer. I didn’t want to turn anyone down, and I figure that if I do go on to do the CAPPA doula program, I’ll already have the births under my belt.
    TheFeministBreeder´s last blog ..Announcing My 2010 BlogHer Sponsors My ComLuv Profile

  4. Wonderful news! I actually feel excited for you, its like the start of a whole new life, a sort of re-birth in itself. xx

    NS Reply:

    @zooarchaeologist, Thank you. It does feel like a rebirth of sorts! x

  5. cartside says:

    Well, I’m due late summer/early August, shame though that I’m in Scotland because I’d love to have you as a doula! Really excited for you, it’s such a fabulous career.
    cartside´s last blog ..Bedtime conversation My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @cartside, Darn! Wish I had a personal jet then I could be there in no time. Where’s Doctor Who when you need him? ;) Happy birthing!

  6. Liz says:

    Fabulous news! Congrats

    NS Reply:

    @Liz, Thank you. :)

  7. geekymummy says:

    Congratulations!!! My doulas were the most wonderful people, and are still good friends of our family. It is a really special calling, what a fantastic way to spend your life. My sister lives in Surbiton, I’ll ask her if she has any friends who might need a doula.
    geekymummy´s last blog ..T is for…. My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @geekymummy, You had more than one doula? Cool! Were they a team already or did you just hire two different ones and ask them to work together? And yes, please do ask your sister to keep me in mind if she knows anyone, I used to live in Surbiton and know it well!

    geekymummy Reply:

    @NS, one for each pregnany! My first doula had moved away by the time I got pregnant with the second. Then we ended up using ehr back up doula, so actually I had three, but not all at the same time! Bloogged about it here
    geekymummy´s last blog ..T is for…. My ComLuv Profile

  8. Gappy says:

    That’s brilliant NS. What a fantastic job. Well done you. x
    Gappy´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Gappy, Thank you my dear, I appreciate the support.

  9. Bumbling says:


  10. Way to go! as they say out here.

    Sadly I’m not in the market, as if I did get pregnant again I’d be forced to have a 3rd C-section. But I do know people in SW London so I’ll ask around…..
    nappyvalleygirl´s last blog ..I like to be in America…. My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @nappyvalleygirl, Thank you NVG. :)

  11. Charlotte says:

    Congratulations! That is the most fabulous news! If I was having babies and lived in the UK right now, you’d be top of my doula list. And you’re right – this is only going to expand and enhance your writing. Well done for following your passion. Wish I was there to give you a big hug.

    I had a doula for my second labour, because going into an NHS hospital the first time without an advocate (love my husband, NOT an advocate) was terrifying. In the end she birthed my baby at home, unplanned, because it was a turbo delivery. She has a very special place in our hearts!

    NS Reply:

    @Charlotte, I love hearing about your second birth, your ‘turbo delivery’. Especially the bit about reading Harry Potter in the bath for hours! I think that kid must’ve wanted to play Quidditch.

    I know exactly what you mean about hubby not being an advocate. That’s what I hope to be for women, especially first-timers.

  12. Potty Mummy says:

    The very best of luck with this NS, and if I happen across any SW London-based pregnant ladies (unlikely from Moscow, but you never know!), I will definitely send them your way!
    Potty Mummy´s last blog ..Trade Fair My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Potty Mummy, Thank you!

  13. Congratulations! I admire the fact that you didn’t just talk about it—you actually went out and did it, completed the course, and are now ready to begin a brand new career. And you’re right. In its own way, being a Doula is very creative in the sense that you will have to use a different part of your brain, think on your feet, offer encouragement, etc. What could be more exciting than seeing a new life come into the world? I’m sure this will translate into your writing in a very positive way. Good luck!

    NS Reply:

    @Nappy Valley Housewife, What a great comment! Now I’m feeling even more confident about it. Thanks!

  14. Erica says:

    Congratulations, I think you’ve opened yourself up to a whole host of opportunities now. Success to you!

    NS Reply:

    @Erica, Thank you Erica. :)

  15. Congratulations, such a wonderful thing to do. I think I would like a doula next time around, not so sure how common they are in rural spain mind.
    Very Bored Housewife´s last blog ..I am Grumpy, Again! My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Very Bored Housewife, I’m sure you’d be able to find at least a dozen women, which is all the clients you need for the first year!

  16. Cathy says:

    Woo hoo! So psyched for you!! :-)

    NS Reply:

    @Cathy, Cheers, Cathy. And good luck to you too. Let me know when you get a bite!

  17. Abby says:

    That is awesome news! Congratulations on your new career, I know you’ll do brilliantly! x

    NS Reply:

    @Abby, Aw, thanks Abby.

  18. Capital Mom says:

    That is so exciting! Congratulations!
    Capital Mom´s last blog ..Shoe My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Capital Mom, It is quite exciting, isn’t it?! I don’t know why it hadn’t fully dawned on me until I started the course but now I’m full steam ahead.

  19. Platespinner says:

    Oh wow, how exciting! Congrats and well done! I would book you in a heartbeat, for my (hopefully) Dec home birth, but I think I am a bit too far away!
    Platespinner´s last blog ..Note to self: never, ever, ever get pregnant again My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Platespinner, If you were a first-timer I would be more confident of getting there in time but you never know how quickly multips are going to go so yeah, unfortunately, I probably am too far away. Meh! Do you think you’ll hire a doula though? I could probably find a trainee (i.e. inexpensive) near you if you want. Email me if interested!

  20. andrea says:

    congratulations!! i’m sure you’ll have a great client base in no time. good luck!!
    andrea´s last blog ..spell check can’t fix stupid My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @andrea, Thanks sis!

  21. Michelle says:

    Best of luck with your first clients. What a great career to be embarking on. Mich x

    NS Reply:

    @Michelle, ‘Clients’…it sounds so grown-up! lol

  22. Iota says:

    So good to hear you fizzing with such excitement!
    Iota´s last blog ..A little over the top My ComLuv Profile

  23. Nova says:

    Congratulations….sounds fantastic, I look forward to hearing all about it….it’s something I may be interested in doing myself one day. :0)
    Nova´s last blog ..Driven to Distraction My ComLuv Profile

  24. blues says:

    Congrats to you Noble Savage. I wish you all the best in your new CAREER!!!!
    blues´s last blog ..Stepdad My ComLuv Profile

  25. troutie says:


    Damn. I just hired one. Missed you by a whisker!
    troutie´s last blog ..Serious Genital Questions My ComLuv Profile

  26. A Free Man says:

    Good luck with it. We nearly hired a doula for the first one but decided to go it alone. We were lucky in the sense that we had wonderful midwives, but I can definitely see the advantage of a doula in a case that you don’t.
    A Free Man´s last blog ..Tyger! Tyger! burning bright My ComLuv Profile