Tips on how to write your doula profile
PREPARING YOUR PROFILE
It is a good idea to type your doula profile into a Word document so that you can save the text as you work on it. This means that if your upload is unsuccessful, your text will be on file and you can paste it in again.
Use your full name when you register. It looks unprofessional to only use your first name and is tricky for us to run a database with. If you work under a business name, please put your name first and business name after that if you feel you must include your business name.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Write your introduction paragraph carefully. In the search results, this is the information that birthing mothers will see before they click on your name for more details. Do not use paragraph breaks. Just write one big paragraph and keep it short and sweet. Women will not read a big long story about all four of your births! You can either write your blurb in the first person eg “Hi, my name is Sarah” or in the third person “Janine became a doula in 2004…”
Here is a good example, taken from Belinda Drew’s profile:
Belinda has always been drawn to babies and birth. The birth of her children was so life changing that she found a new vocation. Her first birth experience was incredible and traumatic at the same time. She laboured for what seemed like an eternity and then had an emergency caesarean to deliver her daughter Amelia. A couple of years later, she had a glorious VBAC with the birth of her son Julian. Belinda has since dedicated her working life to assisting and supporting parents through pregnancy and childbirth. She believes the presence of a dedicated doula can enhance a woman’s birth experience, by creating an environment which is secure and nurturing. Belinda’s goal is to help create a fulfilling birth experience that is memorable and joyous. Ensuring that parents are fully informed during any decision making process is paramount, as well as encouraging the birthing mother to trust in herself.
Testimonials should come from the families you support and you should have persmission from them to publish their words. Always date the testimonial and include one from your first year as a doula and one from this year to show the breadth of time you have been working as a doula. Here is a good example of a testimonial, taken from Lucy Perry’s profile:
“Lucy was amazing and went above and beyond her call of duty by spending the entire night with us helping me through my labour. Lucy’s presence calmed me down and got me refocused on the job at hand and the wonderful outcome we would have. I don’t think I could have gone on so long if it weren’t for her. I would strongly recommend Lucy to anyone going into childbirth. The confidence, knowledge, friendship and security she gave to us throughout the nine months of my pregnancy was just invaluable.” Phoebe, April 2006.
When describing the services you offer, be specific about how much time you will spend with the birthing mother and her partner before and after the birth. Feel free to say how much you charge for these services.
Here is a good example of a service offer:
I will meet with you two or three times before the birth to get to know you and your birth plan. Then I will support you from the onset of established labour (or whenever you need my support) until a couple of hours after your baby is born. In the week after the birth I pay a final visit to debrief on the experience and answer any questions you may have. I am always available for a chat on the phone or by email.
OTHER SKILLS AND SERVICES
When including your other skills, be creative. If you have a fabulous library of childbirth books and other resources, include that. If you write their birth story for them, that is a lovely thing to mention. Also include any other qualifications you have in any complimentary therapies such as lactation consulting, massage, nutrition, reiki etc. Don’t forget photography and video if you are willing to do this for your couples. If you also offer a post-natal doula service, be specific about what you offer: cooking, cleaning, washing, looking after siblings, running errands, settling techniques for the newborn, overnight stays etc.
Include a photo of yourself. You will not be considered for a “featured doula” spot without a good clear photo of yourself. The featured doula position attracts thousands of hits per month. Some women are keen to find a doula in a certain age bracket so your photo will make this clear as well as making it easy for your clients to recognise you when you first meet. Make sure the file is no more than 100K or the system will reject it. If you would like to be one of the featured doulas on the home page, just email your photo and a 20 word introduction about yourself to the webmaster.