Doula Canada takes a look at whether Canada can employ and train more Labour Doulas...
The Canadian birth and parenting scene is strengthened by organizations and personalities who recognize the difference each province dictates.
We are not homogeneous, and as such our training and practices should be different than certain, ahem, friendly neighbours (“howdy-ho there neighbor!”).
As an organization focused on Canadian birth and perinatal experience we make it Doula Canada's mission to imbue ourselves in an open discussion with Doulas and Childbirth Educators in each Province and Territory.
We are curious about how others feel in our profession, what is working for them, what are their struggles, and how an organization like DTC can positively encourage those experiences.
One of the main concerns we hear from Doulas across Canada is that the market feels saturated. Many have shared that they can sometimes feel deflated and unsupported in an economy where Doulas can still be misunderstood.
These comments got our wheels spinning! Is the Canadian market saturated? Can training organizations, like ours, sustain themselves as Doulas increasingly certify and support families?
The answer is that simple.
Can you be a full-time Doula in your community. Yes.
First, let’s look at the numbers:
In our initial studies we have focused strictly on Labour Doulas, as it’s the most common certification program in our country, and the one we discussed most with Doulas from B.C to Newfoundland.
The Canadian birth rate has increased. Slowly, but it has still increased (good work little buddy!). Following the diagram below you can see how many births per a province were registered for 2015/16, and how many Labour Doulas each province could argubly sustain if each Doula were working full-time (48 births a year… which is like, whoa, A LOT!). Now let’s also consider that some of these Doulas may also be Postpartum Doulas or Childbirth Educators…. or both (full-package perfection!). Busy Canadian Doulas unite!
The argument that Canada cannot sustain more Doulas, let alone government subsidized or employed Doulas, is false. In fact, many Provinces (we’re looking at YOU Western Canada) could see tremendous opportunity in this profession!
Booking flight….now….ok…..check…. (guilty plug of 2017 training schedule HERE).
So how can YOU success as a Canadian Doula?
At Doula Canada we know that the key to Canadian Doula success for our students and alumni is diversifying their offerings. Many Doulas and CBEs offer further value added services that offset the slower months of client support. Workshops or encapsulation, sleep consulting or belly binding, whatever your jam is, knowing that you have an opportunity to reach potential clients through more than an on-call schedule is an important business PEACE OF DOULA MIND.
Perhaps you may consider diversifying your certifications? We strongly feel that becoming a Childbirth Educator is a sure-fire way to build any birth/baby related business; you meet families eager for education and then eager for continuous support. Our expert trainers are living proof!
We also believe that cross-certifying with numerous organizations through your Doula career assists in building expert knowledge, while allowing you to connect with other like-minded Doulas (connection is KEY to success... see HERE)
We’ve seen Doulas and CBEs in communities of less than 40,000 persons THRIVE.
A strong support system, business minded practices for the CANADIAN market of our profession, and EDUCATION.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: our initial studies have shown that Canada can sustain a deeper growth of Doulas, HOWEVER Doulas seem to be more successful when they look to external supports. This means strong certification agencies, available government or systemic funding for their business and for potential clients, networking opportunities with community stakeholders and yes, even supporting other Doulas. *insert sound of shock*
"But I’m not getting enough clients so why would I support other Doulas?"
Because it will build your confidence.
It will move YOU, to move FURTHER.
It will keep one snow covered toe in best business practices (like not trash talking the competition!) while the other is off to support the abundance of clients that presents themselves on your (email)doorstep.
It’s also the nice, ahem, Canadian way!
Can Canada sustain more Doulas. Yes, please!
(And we haven’t even started to chat about Perinatal Support or CBE opportunity…. whoa!).
In the Spirit of 2016 Rio Olympics!
Interested in sharing your thoughts on the Doula Canada page?