1. Give me some background information on yourself and your doula career. I began in nursing which I loved. But I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and was looking for a way to combine the one on one care with entrepreneurship. After having my own children I decided to make a go of being a doula professionally.
2. What made you decide to become a doula? Was there a defining moment when you knew?
I was asked by a friend in labor if I would stay with her since her partner wouldn’t make it in time. She was beginning to get tired and lose focus and so I instinctively talked her through, applied counter pressure on her back etc. I left the birth think, wow wouldn’t it cool to do this for a living and also help moms when they leave the hospital. That was ten years ago.
3. What were the best & hardest parts of starting your business, both personally and professionally?
I am a natural introvert, so putting myself out there and the vulnerability of being a business owner was a challenge. Crossing things off my list, making connections, and overcoming things that I never imagined I could is beyond rewarding.
4. What did you learn about yourself and your support system while training and starting your business?
I have been really fortunate to have so many supportive people in my life. Long before I seriously decided to pursue being a doula, my family was encouraging me to look into it. Training has taught me a great deal not only about birth and the postpartum period, but about time management, prioritizing and being gentle with myself. There were plenty of times when I had plans on powering through some work and everyday life had other plans! I learned to go easy on myself and find balance between work and home.
5. What is your doula niche? How do potential clients recognize you?
I mainly do postpartum and antepartum work. I have attended births and truly enjoy them, however I feel more drawn to postpartum work. The transition of bringing a new baby into the home can feel overwhelming at times having support is so important.
6. Describe the doula culture & community in Missouri.
I am in central Missouri and doulas aren’t widely known. It is a relatively small and conservative community but incredibly family oriented. I think it is just lack of exposure and education as to what doulas can provide.
7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years I plan to have brought additional doulas on. I see providing education in addition to doula care which includes more birth services.
8. What advice do you have for any doula looking to start or revamp their business?
Do it! Don’t let fear hold you back. I am a total researcher and planner. I will research and plan to the point that nothing ever gets done. Taking the first step is so important. Whether it be to buy your domain or get your business license. Just take the first step.
9. You recently had a baby-Congratulations! How are you and your baby doing? How has your newest addition changed you and your business?
Thanks! My newest baby has really pushed me to become laser focused on what I want out of my career. I have been known to procrastinate and over analyze when it relates to my business and taking risks. I have found that I have become more sure of myself and how I want my business to evolve.
10. Tell me about your most recent "doula win."
I have recently started to focus on expanding my business and looking to the future. This includes more marketing, sorting out legalities and networking. I have had the opportunity to work network with some amazing doulas across the country. I recently was referred to a family by another doula. Having a fellow birth worker speak highly of my service is an awesome feeling. I definitely consider that a win!
Alicia's Bio: Alicia Edmonson is a mom of four spirited children and enthusiastic doula providing prenatal and postpartum care to families in the central Missouri area. You can find out more about Alicia and the services she provides by visiting www.centralmissouridoulacare.com.
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