Doula AND nursing student?

  1. Hi everyone! I'm kind of new around here...not yet a nurse or even a nursing student, but I've finished my pre-reqs and will be starting nursing school in January.

    I'm considering taking a training course at a midwifery school to become a doula. My question for you is two-fold...I've never had a child myself, so I'm wondering that would be a problem when trying to help laboring women, like if they wouldn't trust me enough since I'd never been through it myself? And also, is it unrealistic to think that I could be a doula occasionally while going to full-time nursing school? Should I take the course anyway? (The class costs $450 so it's a big decision!!) Any advice at all would be really helpful!

    Thanks!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   mark_LD_RN
    their should be no problem with you not having given birth to be a doula. there are lots of nurses and doulas out their that have not experienced it. I for one have not personally experienced it, and am a L&D nurse and doula working on becoming a certified nurse midwife. I have never had a problem with patients not respecting me or doubting my abilities to help them or my knowledge. and i have been told by many of my patients that i am the best nurse they ever had. i hate to have to agree with them
    if it is what you really want to do than do it. you can fit it in with school i did so can you.good luck let me know if i can be of any help
    Last edit by mark_LD_RN on Aug 15, '02
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    go for it. i see many wonderful nurses and doulas who have not had babies themselves. an example is mark, above. don't let THAT stop you, if that is your dream and heart's true desire. you will do great if your heart is truly in it.
  5. by   Natalieboo
    srose -

    I think taking a doula training before you become a nurse is a very good idea. That's actually what I have done. I feel it will make me a better nurse in the future because right now I am learning how to support women emotionally and physically.

    I have had a baby, but only 1 out of my 6 clients has expressed their discomfort with having a doula that hasn't had a baby. Honestly, the only advantage that you would have if you had a baby is being able to bring examples of your personal experience when talking to the client prenatally.. and I know some doulas who just talk about their births, that happened to them, how they felt NONSTOP and it really annoys the client. They need to remember they are there for HER!

    At the doula training I went to, there were 20 women. 5 of them were nurses and 3 of them were in nursing school. The nurses said the doula training was very helpful to them, because not only do they learn the role of the doula and better understand how to work with one, but they learn how the doula supports the mother emotionally and may be able to do the same.

    I do think it is unrealistic to try and be a doula during full-time nursing school unless you are willing to miss a day or two of classes. You never know when a client will go into labour and it might be 6am the morning of a day you have classes and she could labour (hopefully not) until the next day. You just have to weigh the pros and cons I guess.

    But I think the course is a good thing to take just for the information if anything. Good luck
  6. by   mark_LD_RN
    i was able to do it, because i had very low fees and had another doula that would cover for me if i was in class or something. my clients knew it up front.just as they do now. i still take a few clients that request my doula services.
  7. by   Motivated, SN
    srose:

    I agree with Natalieboo. I'm a doula, full-time Maternal/Child Health Specialist and Part-time Nursing student. Being a doula is great and would be good experience if you are considering OB Nursing and/or Midwife. To become a certified doula, though you need to attend a certain # of births. That would be difficult being in nursing school, even part-time; you wouldn't want to miss classes to attend a delivery. I don't have any private doula clients, because I attend deliveries for my job and wouldn't be able to miss work to attend outside deliveries. Doula first, nursing school later? Good luck.
  8. by   srose
    thanks everyone, for being so helpful!! i feel almost silly now, for wondering if i could really be supportive to women in labor if i'd never had a child myself, once i actually thought about all the men who are in nursing and all the different labor coaches that are probably out there!

    i think i'm going to hold off on the doula class for now...since i'm starting school in january i guess it wouldn't be feasible to be a full-time student and have clients as a doula.

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