What Does Dragonboat Have to do With Postpartum Doulas?

Jan 19, 2022

How does a new postpartum doula start out with confidence? That's not easily answered with a one-size-fits-all.   Asking yourself some key questions can guide you.

What have you learned so far and are you comfortable passing on that information to families?

Are you resourceful and motivated?

Do you have somebody that you can call on when you don't know something or if you're unsure?

Confidence is something that builds over time. When you get super familiar and comfortable doing something you feel confident about it.

Your confidence gives off an energy of ease and grace. When you are a new postpartum doula, you may feel uncomfortable, and might even tell yourself that you’re not cut out for this.  Let your heart be your guide, instead of your ego trying to keep you safe and comfortable.

I’ll use this example from my life in the present day. Two years ago I decided I would try Dragon Boat team. This is synchronized paddling and there are many body mechanics to the process. In fact,  I'm still learning all the moving parts and practicing certain things each time I’m on the boat. 

When I first started I thought “You got to be nuts to do this.”  Also, I would follow the person in the front in the stroke seat.  They keep the pace for the whole boat, and must be focused and paddle with ease, agility and speed.  I would say to myself, “Oh my God; they’re paddling too fast and I am having such a hard time keeping up.”

Fast forward and guess what? I get to be in the stroke seat quite often.  I‘ve been paying attention, and learning from others on the team that have been at it longer. And, practice, practice, practice!!!

My point is,  you don't have to do become a postpartum doula alone. And, you'll feel more and more confident as you practice.

Reach out to other doulas in your area. Find a buddy you can study with or work with.  Be willing to learn and be open to not knowing things.  Start where you are and know you’ll progress in time.

Becoming a postpartum doula isn't rocket science, I like to say. There's definitely a lot to learn. It's an ongoing process. I do believe taking a training course from a reputable, reliable and knowledgeable trainer is important. You may not feel 100% ready after taking your course. Sometimes you got to jump right In. Mentors are great.

I think about those times in the beginning (my first 6 months on the job) when I first started and I ran into things like bleeding and cracked nipples and a dehydrated baby.  Looking back, I wonder how I even knew what to do.  I definitely wasn't 100% confident, I can tell you that. My instincts and resourcefulness kicked in with all those cases. And, I knew people I could call for advice. 

Please don't allow your lack of confidence to stop you from becoming a postpartum doula. I still have moments where I wonder if I'm good enough to do what I'm doing. I think it's part of the human condition. We get to train our brain to shift off the negative self-talk. This takes practice and gets easier over time.

Whatever aspect of being a postpartum doula has you feeling less than confident, brush up on that area or topic. Go within, and ask yourself where this lack of confidence comes from. Is it your skill set? Your age? Lack of training? Fear of failure? Lack of clarity and focus?  Self-sabotaging beliefs?

Do the necessary soul-searching and reach out to others who are willing to help you.  Make a plan, set priorities, create goals with timelines. Take the first step, and then the next one. Inaction will get you no where.

Book a connection call with me anytime. I’d love to hear about your postpartum doula dreams.

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