Become a Doula 2018-01-01T19:46:22+00:00


Do you have a desire to serve families, even at their most vulnerable? Have you considered becoming a doula? Read below for more information.

Career vs Hobby


Becoming a doula may be easy for most, but living as a doula is a struggle many find hard to reconcile. Whether you have childcare issues or find yourself queasy in medical situations, there are many things one must consider before starting on this path.

The good thing is that if you have the desire to serve compassionately, no matter the circumstance, with an open heart and a willingness to see past the bias, you’ll probably do whatever it takes to arrange your life so that you can best serve women and families.

As a start, consider the following questions that may assist you in thinking more about making your dream a reality. Many of these are related to birth doula work, but the rest are applicable to both birth and postpartum.


One of the most important decisions as a doula is where to obtain certification from. A simple Google search will result in many certifying bodies, but only you can decide which one speaks to your philosophical and professional outlook. Narrow down your search to your top three and go through their websites; take a look at their mission, scope of practice, training schedule, and cohesiveness of information provided- this speak to the probability of their training and support methods.

Interested in becoming an Iowa Doula Agency doula? The agency recognizes the main three certifying bodies (DONA, CAPPA, and ICEA) and will consider only those doulas who have chosen one of them. Local to Iowa? Each of these three have a trainer here and usually they each hold at least one training a year. This helps if you cannot travel for your certification workshops.

Career vs Hobby

The decision to be either a career or hobby doula should not be taken lightly. Contemplating those questions above will help direct you toward the right path but also taking into account you financial status will also help. It is very hard to be a career birth doula and earn a living wage from it. Considering the average doula can realistically only take four clients a month, and that there is a market cap on what a doula charges, are you able to support your family? And if you’re considering postpartum work, many find it much easier because shifts are scheduled! The hard part about postpartum work is that as of current, the market isn’t demanding as many postpartum doulas as birth.

If you’re leery about the financial prospects, don’t fear. Many successful doulas have added additional services like placenta encapsulation, essential oil education, breastfeeding support, and reiki / massage services to their repertoire that can help supplement their income.

If you’re thinking you can only afford to be a hobby doula (one who takes a small, limited amount of clients per year), that’s great! Your clients will gain so much from your support. Even so, it is even more crucial to stay connected with the local doulas in your area to stay up on the latest research and provider news, and to stay engaged and up-to-date with the latest evidence-based information.

Mental Healing

One of the most critical needs of pregnant or postpartum families is mental health support. Because we want clients to experience not only exquisite birth but also postpartum journeys too, we partner with Dr. Mandi Hardy to provide emergent or scheduled mental health support. What makes her practice special is that she comes to you, where you need it most. Dr. Hardy visits clients within a 60 mile radius around Ames and also is prepared for virtual appointments.

Dr. Hardy specializes in the pregnancy and postpartum experience. She combines her experiences as a doula, childbirth educator, academic, and therapist to help meet the unique needs of families during their birth year.  As a doula, she’s personally attended over 100 births in various settings, outcomes, and twists and turns. She has provided a few frequently asked questions and answers below.

Yes, I am in-network with Wellmark and Iowa Medicaid providers.  My application is in process with United Healthcare.  Some clients chose to be cash only patients as well.

A therapy session is approximately 45-50 minutes.  When I come to your home for a home visit these can sometimes last a bit longer as they are often utilized as “crisis” situations.  However, even as such those appointments average to be around an hour.

Yes; however, my specialization is working with woman (and their partners) during the perinatal period or what is commonly called the “birth year” (the year surrounding pregnancy and birth). This does not mean that we couldn’t or wouldn’t continue a therapeutic relationship outside of this birth year or that I don’t see clients in other demographics, just to note that this is my specialization and expertise.

I completed my graduate work in psychological counseling in December 2005 and have worked in the mental health profession in various capacities since then.  I opened my private practice (Amanda Hardy PhD LLC) in 2017, but also practiced privately for years in New Jersey.

I am licensed in the state of Iowa as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).  I do not hold a formal certification in PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders) as there is no such certification; however, I have completed training through Postpartum Support International (PSI) in PMADs.  PSI is considered the leader in the field and is the only program that offers specific training in this area, at present.

As both a doula and childbirth educator, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know families as they prepare for their individual journeys in parenthood.  As an academic, I’ve studied childbirth (from any perspectives), parenting, child development, and the intersection of these three.  And, finally, as a therapist, I’ve learned to listen to people when they aren’t having the best days.  All of these experiences helped me realize that postpartum families need a different kind of help. This is why I offer house call services for families who are in need of mental health support, but aren’t going to be able to come in for a traditional office appointment for some time while they adjust to their new normal.  I am the only licensed mental health provider offering this service in central Iowa.  I also keep my practice small and ensure that everyone who desires an immediate appointment will be seen within 2 weeks of contacting me (wait times at other practices are often 6 weeks or more).

Hear from Dr. Hardy

Hear Our Why In Person

Meet us at our monthly Meet the Doulas! night held at our studios in Valley Junction.

Learn More