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Thread: Why dont women know about Doulas!!

  1. #1

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    Default Why dont women know about Doulas!!

    I was just wondering how Doulas are going in other parts of Australia? I got an email from Kelly saying that Doulas seem to be really popular in Melbourne, and I was wondering why???? Doulas are struggling a little up here as not many women know we exist or even what we are!! How did you guys go about advertising? Is it all off the internet or did you get brochures etc done? It would be great to hear everyones stories


  2. #2

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    Mummabear - Doulas may be relatively well known in the city, but as soon as you move further away from Melbourne they are almost unheard of! I am only an hour out of the city and no one down here is aware of them!

    I am moving back to 10 km from Melboure for this exact reason, once I have finished my course I want to be in an area where women are aware of Doulas and more likely to get the work!

  3. #3

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    MummaBear - yes, doulas aren't very well known of, once your out of the city, really. I know many women who have just given birth, or are pregnant, who had never heard of a doula until I filled them in. It's a matter of networking, finding other doulas in your area, and coming up with some good ways to advertise and get the word out there. Brochures are a simple yet effective way to get the word out there, if you place them in child health centres, libraries, even tourist information centres, as well as hospitals, birth centres, mothers groups, etc. A doula friend and I have contacted the local paper here, and are having an article on doulas published next week, along with our photo and contact information. The trick is to find those first few clients, and then most work is word of mouth. Doula-ing is certainly no way to make a complete living, financially. I've got another business in the works (will let everyone know about it when it is up and running in a couple of weeks), which is also pregnancy related, which will be my main source of income. At the moment, the doula register of Australia is owned by Optimum Birth (the course I'm completing), and most other doula courses don't want to use it, as they feel it implies that Optimum Birth is the ruler, so-to-speak. However, this also means that at the moment, apart from the small register that exists, it is hard to know just how trained a particular doula is (there have been cases of people calling themselves a 'doula' without any training, and cases of training courses run by people without a clue, and with no structure to their course). Once a general register is up and running (and I believe this is in the works for ASAP), doulas will have a clearer definition Australia-wide, and we may be able to get some governmental support, so that all women can have access to a doula, and it may be subsidised. That's the plan. Until then, keep trying. Get some business cards made up (even make your own) and spread the word. We're at the beginning, so it's hard...but doulas will revolutionise birth in Australia.

  4. #4

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    Liana,

    I absolutely agree with you that Doulas will revolutionize birth in Australia.
    May this fully include our Indigenous sisters also.
    I would like to see our Australia-wide Doula organization actively supporting improvements for birth services in Indigenous Communities. If you ever get a chance to see the DVD "Birth Rites" it is a real eye-opener. For Australian Doulas to be aware and pro-active MORE than the Government tends to be, is something good that we need to bring to birth in Australia.
    Liana, congratulations on your new 'little little' due in 07! Wonderful!

  5. #5
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    I reckon all the chatter about them here on Belly Belly will help too

  6. #6

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    Relle, I'm finding the same as you - I'm about 100 miles (2-3 hours in my slow car) from the CBD and out here, few people have heard of doulas. I have advertised extensively, but this first year of being a doula so far from the city is pretty slow going. I would love to find a few more clients but on the other hand, I'm being patient because I know we offer a great service at low cost and the idea is bound to catch on. I would have loved a doula but because I did not know about them, I ended up having 2 or 3 women friends at each birth, and they really were my 'angel women' - my doulas. In hospital or out of hospital, I think that nurturing support is lovely to have at a birth.
    I really love this work and I hope we all have full hands and full hearts doing what we love - supporting and empowering mothers.

  7. #7

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    I had never heard of a "doula" until I found bellybelly. I had to google it because i didn't know what it was, and then I saw the topic at the top of the main page here on BB and i checked that out also... i'm interested in having one for my pregnancy (one day..) what are the fees like? Is there any way i can find out? Also, is it for "public"? or just private? As i will be going public... thank you

  8. #8

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    Renstar, doulas will go with you WHEREVER you choose to birth - private, public, birth centre, at home (or you could get really radical and try for outdoors or be like me and really rock the system and give birth in a shopping mall (OK I'm just being silly now - but really! I did actually have the baby in a shopping mall (we made it to the parent care room) and my friend was such a lovely doula for me on that occassion!)

    Back to the point - because your doula is hired by you, she is your employee, not the employee of the hospital etc. Most doulas charge around $800 for a full birth package that includes around 4 pre-natal consultations of (at least) 2 hours each, full labour and birth support, and two post-natal visits as well. Student doulas do three 'freebie' births in order to become registered and will charge maybe $100 for petrol etc. Some experienced doulas charge $1000 for the package but all up it's a good deal. You spend a bit getting all the great gear for the baby, but to spend something on your own preparation and confidence and nurture I think is what every mum deserves!

    Kelly has a good link here
    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/find-a-doula
    for doulas all over Australia and they each list their fees along with a description of their services. You can also Google
    'doula' and select the Australian button and that find a few other doula listings on the internet.

    Happy hunting, I hope you find your perfect doula match.
    Last edited by Julie Doula; June 3rd, 2007 at 09:34 PM.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks Julie that's very helpful and has given me something to think about. I'll look into it more when I'm pregnant.... hopefully not too far away now...! I'm interested in it....

  10. #10

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    hi gals... i tried to find some info but with time constrictions of work and baby.... excuses I know........ ... but what is a Doula?? please forgive my ignorance

  11. #11

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    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  12. #12

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    Oh THANK YOU kelly... i was hoping someone might save me with a link :-)

    Cheers
    xoxoox

  13. #13

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    As a PR/promotions/communication person, my advice would be this:

    1. Collectively you need to raise awareness re doulas through the media. This is not as difficult as it sounds and it's free. Basically, draw up a list of all the pregnancy-related stuff that expectant mums might be reading (pregnancy magazines, general health magazines, health columns in daily/weekend newspapers etc. etc.) or listening to (health programs on the radio, What's Good For You on TV). Then approach those outlets asking them if they would be interested in doing an article/spot on doulas. You tell them a bit about what a doula does and point them in the right direction to other information about doulas then the journalist writes the story. It would also be good if you could offer them a mum who has used a doula to share their birth story so they have both the doula's perspective and the mum's perspective.

    2. Once people know more about doulas, it makes the chances of your individual promotion efforts eg. brochures etc. much more likely to succeed.

    Cheers


    Fiona

  14. #14

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    Fiona, until now, there has been no collective body, but Doula Australia has just been registered and we'll be taking Australia by storm It's something myself and another Doula are doing (who was heavily involved in Doula UK) so I am excited with what's to come I am very big into marketing/media/pr
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  15. #15

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    I had some vague notion that there were women you could hire to be with you during labour before I found BB... but the details were very sketchy and I'd lived in inner Melbourne for 10 years prior to finding BB. Very sad really... given that my own mother works as a nurse etc... she would have known about them but chose not to mention them as she is an OB worshipper I also admire the talents of OBs but don't believe they are necessary to attend uncomplicated births but that's a discussion for another thread.

    Anyhow I'm so thrilled that BB has served to educate women from all locations about the wonderful work Doulas do

  16. #16

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    Many women that I have talked to have no idea that there is professional birth support out there, who they can have with them to support them through their labour and birth. It is just not advocated enough by the medical profession or hospitals. Women benefit so greatly from having that support, and many wish that they had known about it with their previous babies.

  17. #17
    paradise lost Guest

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    My midwives were threatened by doulas. They felt that the things doulas do are things midwives are for. It was this realisation which led XP and i to forego a doula and rely on our midwives and one friend for support. When we discussed having a doula with them we were immediately asked "What will she do that i can't?". One said "I see 4 births a week, they might only see 2 a year", very derogatory. They could see the point of a female friend who could support me but not another stranger who specialised in birth support.

    We talked about it, XP and i, and decided we'd rather have midwives who felt we trusted them and "needed" them and accept the care they offered, than risk our midwife relationship by threatening them in their role. It's something that needs work. I think the problem is that a lot of midwives WANT to be able to do the job doulas do, but time constraints and hospital regulations prevent them being able to, and they feel (understandably i guess) that the presence of a doula indicates they're not "enough". In the event i do not regret not having a doula, and i did feel cared for and "loved" by my midwives, but i wonder how life would be if doulas did not have to defend women from midwives who did not have to defend women from Obs who did not try to defend women from nature....

    Bec

  18. #18

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    I have had midwives question me on the odd occasion, some a bit rude, and some even at the annual homebirth conference from S.A. who were the most abrasive I have encountered! We were all sitting at the same table for lunch and all of a sudden she comes out with, 'Do you know what we don't like about you? You don't have to get insurance and we do...' and continued to argue on when I explained it wasn't a medical role, we don't do procedures etc. But I don't buy into all of that, I am there for the birthing woman and there is no way I am going to add tension to the birth room!

    Private hosptials seem to be the main ones that don't understand what we do and question. 'What training do you do? What about insurance?' are the main ones they scoff at. I believe this is because many women who go to private hospitals are more likely have pain relief and intervention and least likely to have a doula, so the middies are more medically focused. I think I have told you my story of asking a midwife why the pre-natal classes were all about pain relief (thats what client said), she replied, 'but thats what the majority want, they walk in and want an epidural'.

    Those wanting no or least intervention to their research into how they can acheive that birth and know about doulas.

    90% of my clients are in birth centres and the midwives there recommend doulas because they know the benefits we offer, given birth centres are a lower intervention place of birth. So it's all about the spreading of information and understanding.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

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