Thankfully, I swam.
But it was a hard crawl to get to the point where I felt I was established. It was hard to balance my desire to start up and to make it as a doula with my promise to my husband that I would not drain our family budget with my business. I did it, but it was hard. So very many people expected me to work for free, and I just could not do it and maintain my marriage and my dream.
As I grew in experience and became more established, I wanted to be the encouraging experienced doula for new doulas. I wanted to doula them through the births of their doula businesses. I found it tough going. I briefly ran an apprenticeship with a few of my fellow doulas, and we were able to help a few new doulas get their businesses up and running. And in the last few years I’ve done some apprenticing on my own. But it didn’t feel like enough. I looked at becoming a doula trainer, but I felt like that need was already very well met by the existing trainers we had locally.
All attempts to get a mentoring program up and running through the Utah Doula Association did not work well, as there were far too many new doulas wanting, and few experienced doulas willing.
Over the years, I saw hundreds of new, energetic, inspired and talented women train to be doulas but then burn out during the certification process. It deeply saddened me to see some of those women leave because the business was draining them and their families and they just couldn’t take it any more.
After years of dreaming, brainstorming, thinking and rethinking, I am so pleased to be able to launch Utah Doulas in Training, a program of my business PamperedBirth, LLC. With this project, I aim to help new doulas find parents to serve, and to help them learn about the business aspects of running a doula business so that they are able to establish thriving businesses that can nurture the doula and her family as much as it nurtures the birthing family. I want to see new doulas succeed and be sustainable in their work. I want their doula careers to blossom and grow!