How to become a Doula


How to become a Doula

How to become a Doula

Similarly to nannies, there is no compulsory training or registration for doulas so anyone is free to set up as such.

In many cases, doulas are mothers themselves. They have usually already assisted family members and friends in pregnancy, labour, delivery and after childbirth in the mother’s own home before considering being a doula professionally.

Before setting up their practice, women who want to become a doula usually undertake a preparation course. This is not formal, midwifery, nursing or medical training, rather preparation in how to support the birth, and in particular the mother.

Unlike nannies, doulas are usually self-employed and good preparation or training courses usually cover important aspects about setting up in business, with important information on drawing up contracts, and how to go about getting a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check. More information is available in the training section here.

As a self-employed doula, you need to register with the HMRC. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with tax and National Insurance payments.

Before starting to practice it is advisable to take out specific doula insurance. This should include public liability cover as standard and takes into account that doulas are contracted and paid to care and support a woman both before and after pregnancy based in the mother's own home.

At this stage you are probably ready to go into practice and it is at this point, if not before, many doulas choose to join a network or organisation representing and supporting doulas. You can find out more here.