Momdoulary provides comprehensive support along the path to parenthood. Laura Saba has drawn on her background as doula, childbirth educator, parenting educator, author, life coach, integrative nutritional health counselor, inventor, and professional organizer, to create a unique form of doula support and parenting preparation coach. We have conducted an interview with her.
Could you tell us how the Momdoulary Method and training which you are providing is able to change the world? What are the impacts on this field in particular the lives of the individuals?
Today’s expectant and new parents are birthing at an unusual space in history. They have more choices and options than ever before, but they are also caught up in an information avalanche. Too, they feel the pressure of constant judgment, in a world where we are conditioned to ‘‘keep up with the Joneses‘‘ and endlessly compare ourselves to others. This leaves many new parents feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and a bit lost.
We train our graduates to provide both informational and physical comfort and support, as well as how to use our “Coaching Model” to help parents assess their options to determine the best fit for them. They then support them every step of the way in making that happen. This leads to more confident parents, better births (doula supported births are found to be shorter, with less likelihood of use of medications, vacuum and forceps extraction, and c-section), and subsequently, a stronger foundation for new families to grow upon. Stronger families create stronger communities. In fact, they also create stronger generations to follow, more often than not. We believe we can change the world one woman, one family, and one community at a time.
What does the multiple certification in your course include and how does it benefit someone in their career flexibility?
Our qualifying graduates become certified in 6 areas: a birth doula, postpartum doula, antepartum doula, in-home childbirth educator, parenting preparation coach, and family lifestyle professional organizer. This allows the graduate to create the most flexible career imaginable, and they can shift and change it to adapt their needs across the span of their lives, or in response to community needs. For instance, they can work 3 births per month, and then supplement their income with in-home childbirth education or parenting preparation - perhaps for an adoptive family, even - and add on a couple of postpartum doula support jobs. They can book a full schedule or a part-time schedule, depending on their availability, desire, and financial needs. We see graduates changing the types of cases they take depending on where they are in life. For example, after the birth of their own child, they may attend less or even no births for a time, so as not to have to leave home in the middle of the night, solely working doing in-home sessions or postpartum work. Others take on single clients, supporting them through pregnancy, birth, and then for up to 6 months postpartum. Lots of flexibility!
Are there stringent standards and criteria for admission into the Momdoulary Method training?
What are they and how does that prepare the candidate to be a better support to expectant women at this crucial time in their lives? Our admission policy is rigorous. Most of our competitors have open admission and a weekend training. Few demand an exam be passed for final certification, as well. Our admission process is thorough - you apply, provide character references, pass an interview, write an essay, and so forth. At this point, we cap our annual world-wide admissions at 300 students. We want to maintain excellence in training and support, and find this number allows us to do this. Our graduates also have to pass a rigorous Board Exam, provide medical clearance including TB test, and pass a number of safety training requirements, as well, including: Blood-borne pathogen safety, Food Handler Safety, Conflict Resolution & Diplomacy, Infant & Adult CPR, First Aid Safety, and more. This is to ensure both the graduate and their future clients are safe. We feel that if a graduate knows they have been trained to keep both themselves and their client safe, this can help ease concerns of their future clients. Additionally, the qualifying exams and reviews are designed to ensure they genuinely know their material. We also provide a Mentor for them to report to during their first 100 hours of case work.
What are the key highlights in working with this childbirth and parenting preparation guide that provides a better birth and strong family foundation?
Our birth workers are prepared to inform mothers and partners of their options in a judgment free way, while also guiding them through a self-assessment of parenting readiness, and newborn care preparation. The client can know they have support navigating pre-natal period, the actual labor itself during which our professionals provide navigational support and physical comfort support, and during the postpartum period. Parents can feel confident they have thoroughly assessed options and determined what is a good fit for them, while knowing they have designed a way to re-evaluate and adjust course if need be in the future. Too, they can know that they have done their best to advocate for themselves and their child.
This allows them to parent confidently. Parenting from a more confident position is typically the result of acting in integrity to self, knowing one has done their best job possible. This sense of confidence and integrity radiates through a family, and becomes reflected in all they do, in the very dynamic of how they engage with one another, and with their community at large. Families with clear-cut values shaping their lives and choices are better prepared as citizens, too, and in a better position to contribute in myriad ways.
Upon certification, what are income expectations of graduates?
Much of this is tied to which combination of their skills they want to use, as well as the region they live in. For just the birth doula work - one client, with whom you make 2-3 in-home visits, attend their birth, and do a short in-home postpartum visit, first year doulas can expect to make anywhere from $300-$1500 depending on region and the number and type of births, as well as, quite honestly, how confidently they present themselves to clients. Antepartum and Postpartum doulas can make anywhere from $25 to $60 per hour first year (the higher end being in major metropolitan areas and for twins; in those regions you can expect to earn up to $250-350 for an overnight gig, for instance); coaches and in-home childbirth educators can make anywhere from $25-60 per hour on average. Our graduates are also qualified to present our 3 hour “Passport to Labor Land” and/or “Passport to Parenthood” education sessions (followed by 3 emails for ongoing support). Again, in major metropolitan regions we see graduates charging anywhere from $300-550 for that session. In smaller towns we see rates drop as low as $125-200 for that same session. Either way, though, it is a reasonable rate for an evening’s work, plus you know you have contributed to helping a family create a stronger foundation from which to launch their family, which is very rewarding!
Thank you for this opportunity to share!