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A New Birth in the Rogue Valley!

It’s happening! I’m going to make it happen, I am making it happen! That’s right, I am opening the first Doula Agency in the Rogue Valley!

Earlier this year, I decided it was time to jump back into my life-long dream of being a doula. I had taken a couple years off after realizing that this type of career is a huge investment of not only time and money, but energy, physical, and emotional health, and at the time, I was investing more than what I could justify, especially since I was pregnant and planning my wedding. 

When I made the announcement of my return and the "birth" of Bella Vida Doula ServicesI was welcomed back with warm arms. I've served a couple of clients which gave me the opportunity to advance my training with a new doula training organization, ProDoula.
In the short few months of Making the Switch, I have learned an immense amount of new skills to better support my clients and how to support myself in this career; how to make smart investments and build a sustainable business, so that I may continue my life-long dream without the easy burnout as I had experience earlier in my doula career. 

Rogue Valley Doulas: A premier doula agency supporting families during pregnancy, childbirth, and their parenting journey.

Due to the amount of support, encouragement, and education that my current training organization offers, I learned more about the different ways that doulas practice. I began looking at what was available in the Rogue Valley, and it was evident that a doula agency needed to be created. The role of doulas has evolved over time, and in most recent years, people are beginning to take this career serious and are dedicated to elevate the profession. 

In the Rogue Valley there are a variety of practicing doulas. Some give their valuable time at a local hospital or for local families. Others are paid staff at the hospital or work closely with midwives (their role may be more of a birth assistant than a doula, and the scope of practice is completely different than that of a doula). There’s private doulas who work independently or partner with another doula to offer back-up support.  Due to the nature of this work and the investments required, many doulas discontinue this career after a few years, because of the high demands and the lack of proper compensation.

Doula Agency Benefits: There are many benefits to not only the clients, but also the doulas, and medical providers/staff.

Clients: Easier to find and connect with doulas. Doulas work in teams, so the client can rest assure that one of the doula duos will be available to listen, support and encourage. Both will attend the prenatal visits to get acquainted, learn the birthing preferences, discuss comfort measures and any fears that may come with the journey at hand. During labor, one doula will be present (primary doula). In the event that the birth goes longer the primary doula can tag-team with the secondary doula so that the client is still receiving continuous support by a familiar doula.

Doulas: Many doulas in bigger cities love working for an agency, because they get to do what they love without worrying about the logistics and investments of owning a business (marketing, contracts, billing, lawyer fees, etc.), although some doulas still work independently aside from working for an agency. Doulas works in teams, have reliable back-up and more flexibility with their schedules.

Medical Providers/staff: Some concerns that medical providers and staff may have regarding doulas are that doulas work out of scope, or are there with an agenda (avoid all interventions, pain medication, etc.) Doulas working for an agency have higher standards of professionalism and accountability, if for any reason the doulas working for the agency are out of line, the medical provider or staff have a place to voice their concerns and or feedback. 

My goals are to build a sustainable business for myself and the doulas working for the agency, raise the standards of doula care in the community and pave the way for aspiring doulas.

Have you thought about becoming a doula? Want to know more? Let's chat! 

Martha Rivera, pre-CD Labor