Doulas come from all ages and stages. However, is it possible for a retiree to become a doula? In short, absolutely! In fact, there are many benefits of becoming a doula as a retiree. If you are close to retirement or already retired, doula work is a great way to turn a passion into a flexible retirement job.
Sure, many retirees simply retire. However, it is not uncommon to retire from a full-time job and desire or need to work part-time. If you need or want to remain working after retirement, becoming a doula offers flexible work. Best of all, you can turn a passion for birth into a meaningful source of income.
Can a Retiree Become a Doula?
It is common to assume doulas are young, perhaps also in their childbearing years. However, not only is there a market for retiree doulas, but there’s also a need for them! Every doula demographic plays a significant role in ensuring every family can find a doula which meets their needs.
There are clients who hope to find the young doula who feels like a friend. Some clients seek out the experienced, but similarly aged, fellow mom who may understand exactly what their going through in real time.
However, there are also many, many clients seeking the doula who feels like a non-judgmental aunt or motherly type. They want the support of an experienced person who has been through and seen a lot of birth experiences. Some are seeking the soothing and calming temperament of someone who knows what is and is not a big deal.
There is an entire market of clients who only feel comfortable with doulas who have significantly more life and parenting experience than they have.
If you are a retiree with a passion for birth, you have a perfect niche client market. The sooner you begin your training, the sooner you can tap into that market.
Being a Doula After Retirement Means Jumping in is Easier
For many younger doulas, school, work, children, and other commitments can make it difficult to organize and jump into doula work. It is possible at any stage to become a doula. However, as a retiree, you may enjoy the benefit of an extremely flexible schedule.
Being on-call can be easier when you are not responsible for finding childcare. If you are already set with your home and living situation, you may find it less stressful to make a transition to a part-time career as a doula. For those still in the stage of life of navigating mortgages, car payments, etc., it could take more planning to make that shift in careers.
As a retiree, you can work on your training, at your own pace, wherever you want! The International Doula Institute’s unique go at your own pace program allows you to work anywhere, even from your smartphone.
Traveling? No problem. If you have internet access, you can train anywhere. Enjoying time with your grandkids? Read while they play or nap. Sit at the park, hang out at a coffee house, enjoy your patio at home while you tackle your training material.
You Have Important Life Experience to Help Clients
As a doula, you will receive training on evidence-based physiological birth, emotional intelligence, and more. However, there are some things we cannot teach, and that is personal life experience. As a retiree, you have a lot of life experience.
You have likely lived through many changes in birthing trends, realizing that physiology of birth does not change. Chances are you recognize the importance of birth and the impact it has on people. Most importantly, you have had enough interactions with people to know how important non-judgmental support is.
As a retiree, you have also learned business skills. At IDI we provide basic business information to help you get started. However, many retirees have business skills from their years of work.
Whether you were a teacher, a nurse, or worked in an office, you will have transferrable skills to help you as a doula. Even if you worked on a farm, in a factory, or a bank, there are still many skills from people skills to business skills which can help you transition to doula work.
What are you waiting for? Begin this second and amazing season of your professional life, even in retirement! Being able to turn your passion into part-time income can make for an amazing retirement!