As the Director of Doula Canada I am stoked for what's to come in 2018, and for our great Doula nation!
After all, is there anytime more inspiriting than turning the page on a new calendar and peeking at the 365 blank days ahead?
I think not!
The excitement of those blank pages lies in the knowledge that we will be welcoming new members, graduating new alumni, supporting new families, having deep conversations, and pushing forward with the dream of doula support and education for any family who cares to share in the benefits our field can offer.
Our Doula Canada calendar for the New Year is ambitious; and we wouldn't have it any other way!
For 2018 our goal is to pair opportunity and ambition with holistic fulfillment. We plan to do this by offering programs never before offered by a doula training certification and membership organizations, creating new provincial/territorial initiatives to strike up communication and awareness about our field, and finding time for some fun too!
We love fun at Doula Canada (our 4th pillar, right after compassion, communication, and chill the eff out).
The one thing I discovered when I decided to leave my full time job for doula work was that financially, being a doula is not enough. Being a doula requires being on call for weeks, the ability to respond to a families call at any hour of the day. Birth work is highly variable in nature. You can be at a birth for 4 hours and for 40 hours – making a livable wage as a birth doula can be a big challenge.
Even if we were to fully book our schedules, taking 2-3 births per month, or about 1 birth per 10 to 14 days. When all is said and done, that can amount to little more than a part-time income. For some that may be exactly what they want, for me I needed to find a way to maximize my income.
In order to do that, I had to be more than just a birth doula. In order to increase the chance of creating income, I diversified. The bottom line: to earn more money, you must offer more products or services.
This had offered me many benefits. It allowed me to take on less births, to create more of a structured schedule for myself. It also had me offering products and services that complimented my work as a doula. As a result it brought in more doula business. Clients would come to ask for one service (birth doula) and I had the opportunity to sell them on other products (placenta encapsulation, Childbirth Education Classes, or counselling). It also worked in reverse.
Diversifying however is more than just adding services or products to your website and business. It requires the same amount of hard work and hustle it takes become a great doula. Simply adding things to your preexisting business does not guarantee a cash flow. To get business growth through diversification you do not do more of the same; you do something different. You expand in new directions.
Before you begin to diversify here are some steps to consider:
What happens when a Doula crosses a room?
Doula Canada recently attended the Birth & Beyond conference in London, Ontario. Birth professionals from across Canada came to build skills and awareness on hot topics circumventing the North American scene… oh, and to rub shoulders with the “who’s who” of birth and baby related goodness. Hey there Ina May!
There were many inspiring moments at the conference; when you’re in the same room as Gena Kirby or Ina May Gaskin it is difficult not to be inspired! *fan-girl moment of the year!*
However, the Doula Canada team recognized something more about this event and its importance to our students and alumni. What was wonderful about Birth & Beyond was its ability to create confidence in our Doula Canada students and alumni.
One of the keys to success and competency as a Doula or Childbirth Educator in Canada = confidence.
Doula Canada knows that feeling self-assured is an important player in feeling ready and able to instill those same qualities in the expecting or new families we support. More “I know what to do” and less “I’m really not sure what the hell I’m doing!”
At Birth & Beyond those who were awestruck by being in the presence of some of the great birth minds eagerly walked across the room and shook hands with the persons they were at first uncomfortable approaching. With confidence. With stride. With the knowledge that they, like their mentors, believe in making a difference. With the recognition that they knew WHAT to do and WHY they were doing it!
At Doula Canada we wholeheartedly work to mentor our students in order that they overcome these insecurities and ROCK their DOULA or CBE CONFIDENCE.
We believe that certification is the first step to pulling those shoulders back as you confidently move towards the “I am a good Doula,” mantra we embrace.
We also believe that challenging you to move forward, despite criticism from other organizations or practicing stakeholders is proof of YOUR CONFIDENCE. Naysayers gonna hate or, as our favourite famous Jennifer Lawrence so eloquently put it “Don’t worry about the Bitches!”
So whether you are in this Doula or CBE journey with us already, or have been pondering taking the leap to joining our growing DTC family, we encourage you to take those steps confidently.
See those goals across the room and confidently move towards them. With trust, with belief, with credence, and with conviction (oh look…. synonyms for the word confidence!).
So what do you get when a Doula walks across the room? A confident opportunity.
Interested in sharing your thoughts on the Doula Canada page?