Pregnancy can be such a joyful time in life. If you love being around and supporting women as they embark on this life-changing journey, you might find one of the below careers to be exactly what you’re looking for.
A lactation consultant can help a new mother become more comfortable breastfeeding her baby. This support and help can make the difference between a mother giving up because of issues she may facing and being successful at nourishing her new baby. Before you become a lactation consultant, you’ll have to first satisfy the licensing requirements to become a registered nurse. Depending on the state where you live, this could mean obtaining a one-year nursing diploma, a two-year associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some of the coursework that can be helpful in obtaining a job as a lactation consultant include labor and delivery, neonatal nursing, women’s health, lactation and newborn assessment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the median pay for registered nurses was $68,450 per year as of 2016.
As a nurse midwife, you’ll be trained to provide women with a full range of healthcare services including prenatal care, family planning services, postpartum care, delivering babies and routine gynecological checkups. While most births that you’ll attend as a nurse midwife will likely occur in hospitals, you might also help deliver babies at a private home or at a birthing center. Before becoming a certified nurse midwife, you’ll need to be certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and be trained in both midwifery and nursing. While most nurse midwives are certified, you can also be a direct-entry midwife. A certified nurse midwife is able to practice in all 50 states while the requirements for a direct-entry midwife can vary depending on the state where you live. According to the BLS, certified nurse midwives had a median salary of $99,770 per year.
A doula can sometimes be confused with a nurse midwife. Though both of these careers allow you to help women as they go through labor and childbirth, a nurse midwife is actually a healthcare provider a woman can use instead of an obstetrics doctor. A doula can be thought of a more like a childbirth assistant. Often used by women who want to abstain from drugs during their labor, a doula can help with pain management techniques and provide support and encouragement to the new mother.
As a doula, you might serve as a liaison between a woman and her doctors before she has the baby. During the delivery, you could provide support and positioning techniques to help ease her discomfort during the process. After the birth, you might need to help the new mother learn to breastfeed her infant or bring snacks to help her keep her strength up.
Most doulas obtain training and certification from either DONA International or CAPAA.
Sharing in the joy and excitement of welcoming a new life into the world can be accomplished in a number of different ways. The three careers above all support and care for the woman and her baby throughout the process.