The Doula Evolution | CAPPA

Growing up in this business has some very similar and familiar characteristics and you may find them yourself as you travel the journey of becoming a professional Doula. How would you change your business practices or your opinions of clients and interactions with other professionals within the community? Will the things you experience or witness along the way continue to change like the Phases of Labor?

Let’s call this the Early Phase of Doula’ing:

As a new Doula you may find yourself eager, excited, maybe even a little shy at first. Your first phone call to a potential client doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, you hang up thinking, “Shoot, I forgot to ask them what city they live in or where they deliver”.

As you have more phone conversations, as you attend more interviews, you start to develop skills that really build your confidence. Potential clients love when a doula can help the conversation flow, give them things to think about that they didn’t know were important and your client base starts to grow.

Early and manageable, you’ll have more time off because you’ve really set yourself up for success.

The Active Phase in your Doula career:

Then you can achieve a new milestone, you start researching more, really mastering the craft of becoming more expert in your field. Now you begin to question everything you thought you knew about birth, interventions, or treatment with your clients. You may even begin to wonder, “If I know this, why don’t Doctors keep this in mind”? Experiencing inductions where you and/or the client have questions, such as is this really medically necessary? Could the outcome of a c-section and failed client have been avoided?

Some may start to feel angry about the treatment of clients or the misinformation shared with them, constantly feeling like you’re sending more and more research articles to prove that you’ve actually done the research and you’re giving them of evidence-based data that can still help them achieve the physiological birth they want.

As you actively explore it, you work hard while finding your rhythm.

Now let’s move to the Transition Phase:

You look back, you review the journey so far; you develop strong working relationships with those in the hospital setting, or midwives within the community and other Doulas you trust, and your perspectives can evolve again. You have a newfound respect for those who practice evidence-based care and you’re very grateful for interventions when needed while also sharing information with your client in a way that leaves them with more desire and confidence to act. their own decisions.

There is freedom in truly trusting your clients as they find their own empowerment along the way. The way you communicate with them becomes more clear and concise. Providing fact-based information with fewer biases so you can fully attend and serve the client in a way that’s right for everyone, has incredible value.

You move into that place of just being and continuing to serve clients in a way that really aligns with a business model you’ve worked so hard to create.

About the Author

Rená Koerner served as CAPPA’s volunteer Southwest Regional Representative and Regional Director from 2009-2012. She is an active certified birth and postpartum Doula with over 13 years of experience. Rená is an Educator, Speaker and Author, as well as, one of CAPPA’s approved Labor Doula Faculty members who has trained Doulas for nearly 10 years. My goal is to bring knowledge and compassion to the clients I serve and the students who also teach me something new with each class. She balances family life and work by making time to be a mother, wife, child, friend and mentor but not always in this order.

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