Wednesday, 29 October 2014

mothering the mother

it is about two and a half years since i finished my training as a doula, i wrote about it a few times at the beginning but then i fell silent: there wasn't much to report, there is client privacy to consider and i felt it prudent to keep schtum about my story because some doulas are quick to criticise any of our number who makes the vaguest client details public knowledge. even though i dont publicise this blog, google can reveal anything to anyone and i wouldnt want to get my own profession off side through even an innocent rambling.

this week i booked a client. she will be the fourth woman i work with this year and although four clients is very well below what one might hope for i have been blessed to work with wonderful families so far. the jobs i fear with long, exhausting labours, difficult clients, traumatic circumstances or me failing in some crazy way have not materialised and the births i have attended have each been triumphs in their own way.

along the way i have learnt that some people will have me drive all over the city to give them a free consultation when they have no intention of booking. i have learnt that by even hinting that i want them to meet me on my own terms i can dissuade the ones who dont respect my time.

i have developed a website, created a standard invoice, made an information package to hand out, written a client agreement, got business cards, collaborated on a logo design, learnt how to get on the first page of a google search and started developing a format for how i can best cover everything i need to cover as a clients' pregnancy/ birth/ early parenting consultant.

i have discussed breastfeeding, mastitis, baby shopping, family dynamics, circumcision, yoga, epigenetics, self care, hypnosis for birth, lotus birth, water birth and so  much more.

i have done many, many "meet & greet" appointments, most of which didnt result in me being hired but i liked all of the people and could genuinely wish them well.

i have figured out that print advertising seems to be money down the drain and that google maps always underestimates travel times.

i have talked birth so incessantly that my daughters could probably doula without formal training and even my sons know that an all-fours position is my default recommendation for women to labour in.

i wanted say thanks for your enduring interest and support and though i cant tell funny / heartwarming / graphic stories i can tell you that taking this path has certainly been the slow road but the scenery is lovely.


  1. The scenic route is ALWAYS a winner. And I love that you are continuing down this path. I wondered, I hoped...

  2. thanks EC!
    it isnt eventuating in the way i had imagined but for now the only reason to change direction would be fear and if i did that i would surely spend the rest of my life wondering what might have been

  3. Kylie, you deserve all success and I send you my best wishes.

  4. I'm glad you've had a modest success so far, and all the training and research is starting to pay off. Those people who just want a free consultation are shabby - perhaps you should always charge a "call-out" fee, even a modest one?

    Yes, a shame you can't tell us a few interesting inside stories, but as you say, client confidentiality is vital.

  5. i tried a call out fee but i wasnt getting any calls so i dropped it again. it's pretty hard to go against industry standard.

  6. Having a Douala when my 3 mo old grandson was born would have been much better for my DiL than the old grandma's and friends who never gave birth "helping" her through the process.

  7. Mark,
    Thanks for saying that!
    How are mom and babe these days?

  8. Baby is growing but mom & dad seem to be not really mentally ready 9still) for the great life change. 30's wanting to be teens still. *sigh*

  9. the thing about babies is that they are so all consuming! it's intimidating but it is also pretty much inevitable that they will surrender to family life ;)


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