Guest Mentor

Becoming a Doula

Thank you to guest mentor Patricia for sharing these thoughts.

I’ve served women for 30 years as a Birth Doula. Only in the last 2 years have I become aware of the known profession. At my age I decided to challenge my brain and pursue this arena of so called expertise in childbirth. At first I was intimidated by the some-what medical side of the learning process.

What I had been doing naturally was now in question as I attempted to make my way through two certification processes. It amazed me that all the previous births I had attended would not be validated by this, ‘Certification Board’. So, like many of you aspiring Doulas and Childbirth Educators – I started all over from the beginning. It is a daunting task keeping track of all the specific paper work required by each individual organization. The young women I met in my Doula Training Workshop were mostly younger than my children. I found it difficult to find a mentor that did not feel their territory was being invaded. I kept my heart and eyes open – and found one. I persevered despite the obstacles.

I took a few young Doulas under my mother hen wing and found myself filled with joy as I encouraged them to seek their passion and not to grow weary in well doing. Often in a competitive market we can feel like hamsters running around on a wheel and getting no where close to where we thought we could go. Don’t give up! Find a mentor – make a friend for life.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)