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Homage to Doulas | Celebrating World Doula Week 2018

Updated: May 8


homage to doulas jax fl | Doulas in Jax

Homage to Doulas Each year from March 22nd to March 28th the World pays homage to doulas! The celebration mostly consists of doulas celebrating doulas; doulas who have come before them, doula colleagues, their own work as doulas, and the future of doulas everywhere.  Families who've hired doulas or who have doulas in their family also pay homage to doulas during this week each year.  In my honest and humble opinion it's a week of reflection,  thanksgiving, and motivation.

Did you know that the average burn out rate for doulas is 3-4 years? In the "doula world," there's a mission to we leave birth and postpartum in a better state than we originally found it. Like a doula's scope of practice, the mission is open to interpretation. Three to four years is a relatively short time frame for anyone to make a positive impact in any field, but especially in doula work. Three to four years before the long hours and lack of sustainability consumes them. In that time frame, the majority of doulas will be forced to retire from the work they love and are great at. That three to four year time frame allows them to take a doula training, meet and connect with families and healthcare providers, just begin to find their footing, and become trusted support persons. All just to turn over the reigns because they either were not able to make the work sustainable or they didn't believe in themselves enough to even try.

What happens when doulas create sustainable practices? Well, to start with doesn't most everyone feel better about going to work knowing they'll be paid for the work they do? Yeah, doulas feel the same. It's empowering to know we're earning our own money. Doulas who create sustainability prioritize and take pride in their work. We take better care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.  We won't resent explaining to literally every person we meet what a doula is or the difference between a doula and a midwife! Sustainable doulas will reinvest in the doula profession to further their education and training. Doulas who create sustainable businesses teach others that this work is a profession, not a hobby. Best of all, we'll stick around long enough to truly leave birth and postpartum in a better state than we found it.

If you're a doula toot your own damn horn this week! Toot toot! Pay homage to doulas everywhere by patting yourself on the back this week. You deserve it! Give a shout out to those who have positively impacted your journey in some way. They deserve it! Sleep an extra hour, get the pedicure, and splurge on dinner at your favorite place! If you've grown from an experience or fallen and gotten back up, cheers to you! If you've freed yourself from some major baggage you didn't know you had, your motivation has changed, or you have just become even more strongly rooted in your mission than the day you started, toot that horn doula!

The First Coast Doulas team wants to pay homage to doulas everywhere this week! Try to enjoy the journey as much as possible it can help with longevity. We believe you are capable of leaving birth and postpartum in a better state than you found it. I encourage you to think about what that statement means to you, find your "why", and toot your horn this week!


Happy Birth & Postpartum Doulaing

~Elizabeth Luke

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