Doulas

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    Hey all!

    I am about to start a nursing program and I'd eventually like to become a CNM. I've been throwing the idea of being trained as a doula around for about a year now. Do you guys think this training would help me land a job on a L&D or postpartum unit?
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Absolutely! It won't hurt. I want to eventually be a CNM as well! I'm only and LPN student currently. I'll get there though! I think you should go for the doula position.
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    Thanks! That is what I am thinking as well bc I have to do my ADN then bridge to BSN. The only thing that is kind of holding me back is $$ it takes for training and time. However, I'm starting to think it will be worth it if I do. More experience and, as a new grad, that is definitely needed!
  6. 0
    I'm nearly at the end of my RN program - and I'm wondering myself what will help me get a job in L&D. I also plan to become a CNM.

    I have been a doula for nearly 10 years, and held a CLC certification for 7 years. I also apprenticed with CPMs for 3 years. I have experience monitoring heart tones with a doppler, assessing a laboring patient, assisting during delivery, assisting with newborn transition.

    I'll start applying for jobs in the next few months - I'll have no idea if my experience helps my out until then or if this even "counts" as experience in the hospital world.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out how to frame my experience so I won't seem so green when I apply to OB jobs. (Maybe I am still green - hospital-wise??? And there's nothing I can do about it.)

    I think the more experience you can get - with lactation support, doula training, FHTs/EFM, CEUs r/t women's health - can ONLY help. If not in the immediate future - in the long run in your goal to become a CNM.
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    queenanneslace, you make a good point about the training being beneficial when I start as a CNM. I would imagine you will be hired into L&D before a new grad with only her/his clinical rotation as experience. If you are up against an experience L&D nurse, I am not sure. What are you thoughts about working as a doula? Do you work with the women throughout the entire pregnancy or just during the birth? I plan to go through DONA for certification. There are classes in Austin, TX (abt two hours away from me) and I can take most of them from the same CPM.
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    I think doula training is a great way to learn about supporting women wanting a natural birth. I think DONA is excellent for providing really good information about how to work with the hospital instead of against them. A few hospitals have banned doulas - around here they want to see that doulas are DONA-trained. I think it's good to be solely labor support and not provide medical advice to laboring moms.

    I usually work with moms at the end of their pregnancy. The last couple months - then some intense postpartum follow up - especially if they have a hospital birth - they get sent home so soon! And lots of new moms have LOTS of questions.

    I did volunteer as a hospital-based doula for a while. So in that situation I was only working with women during labor. That was more challenging, because I was meeting women who were in labor - sometimes in active labor - and it's really hard to get to know each other and establish a trusting relationship in that short, intense period of time.

    What I liked best with doula clients was being able to answer questions about what to expect during labor and birth - what they could ask for (skin-to-skin, delay eye ointment, etc) - what's "allowed" in the hospital - even thought the hospital might not be up front about it (yes, you can keep your baby in your room, yes, you can see your baby in the nursery, etc). Often moms have a lot of questions that are not answered in their 8 minute prenatal appointments - I just loved being able to answer those questions.

    Though - I got better with those kinds of questions after I'd had some apprenticeship experience under my belt. The lactation course (CLC) was very good, too. I'm always getting asked lactation questions - and sometimes the BF relationship is really tricky!

    > If you are up against an experience L&D nurse, I am not sure.

    Yeah - I have no idea if the experience I have will get me a foot in the door or not. Time will tell.
  9. 0
    Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me a little about your experience. I had a really horrible pregnancy, labor, and birth experience with both children. It was partially due to being really young when I had both (18 and 21). I really want to help women understand all the options they have and help them make the right decision for them, instead of just listening to whatever the OB/GYN says. Since I will be in NS while working on my DONA cert, I will probably just volunteer my services/knowledge and take on one or two women that are due in the summer. I would feel terrible if I wasn't able to attend the birth or be there when needed because I had clinicals or something.

    If the experience helps get me into L&D, great; but if not, this is still something I really want to do. I think a lactation course would be extremely helpful! I am hoping to get into a doula training workshop in Feb. We'll see because they are kind of expensive and I'll have to pay for a hotel for the duration of the course.


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