What Does a Day in the Life of a Doula Look Like?

I’m Rhiannon Langford, and I’m a full-spectrum doula in Toronto & founder of Birth Boss Maternity Care. My job is to support families as they transition to parenthood. Some days, that looks like coaching a client as they birth their firstborn, and other days, that looks like working an overnight shift watching after my client’s little one so that they can rest and revitalize to be the best parents they can be.

As a childless person in her twenties, a lot of people are surprised to hear I’m a doula. While it’s not the most conventional job, I couldn’t be happier getting to live my passion everyday.

After I left university, I was like a lot of other young people who joined the workforce without a direction; I was happy to have a job, but I was never super jazzed to wake up on a Monday morning and join the hustle.

Actually, not having my ‘purpose’ caused me a lot of anxiety as I watched my peers excitedly go off to law school and medical school, finding their dream profession coming to life.

Grad school wasn’t really worth it to me unless I loved what I was doing, so I ended up having a career in the non-profit sector, which led me to a job overseas in London, England. That’s where I ended up project managing a docu-series with a major television network on maternal mental health. One of my tasks was to interview potential contestants for the program, and I had a total lightbulb moment while speaking to these new moms.

I read story after story about traumatic births, or how alone these new parents felt in the postpartum period. This was the work I needed to be doing.

Fast forward my post-grad studies at Columbia University in Bioethics, a whole spectrum of doula certification courses, and workshops in all things maternal health and wellness (seriously––everything from nutrition to crystal healing), I moved back to Toronto and started my maternity support service, Birth Boss Maternity Care.

a day in the life of a doula and birth boss can mean helping moms prepare for their baby, pregnancy, etc. #careers #inspiring

Today, I get to work with families so that they feel supported and unafraid to walk through their journey to parenthood. Let me share with you a day in my shoes, even if there’s no such thing as a typical day as a birth and postpartum doula:

7 a.m. – Most mornings, I try to wake up with my natural internal clock (unless I have an early morning meeting to get to.) Working through the night often, I trust my body to get the sleep it needs.

7:30 a.m. – Since morning is the key time to hydrate, I get out of bed and fill up my water bottle and put some lemon in it. Looking after health is super important in doula work, since the hours can be so unpredictable and the work is physically and emotionally taxing.

8 a.m. – I’ll make breakfast, which is normally avocado toast with a poached egg or a green smoothie.

8:30 a.m. Normally, work starts after I’ve scrolled through my social media platforms. I run my own channels as a small biz entrepreneur, so I spend most of early mornings slowly scrolling through these platforms and engaging with my community.

9:30 a.m. – When I’m not on-call, I try to batch work as much as possible. Being on-call for a birth means I have to drop everything I’m doing and go support my clients, so I have to be as efficient as possible on my ‘off days.’ I begin by opening up my Trello workflow to use as my to-do list for the day. I color-code my tasks: purple for admin, green for finances, blue for marketing, yellow for education, etc.

11 a.m. – After I go through some admin cleanup, I make my content plan for the week:

– Blog Post on Monday
– Pinterest on Tuesday
– Insta-story Takeover on #WellnessWednesday
– Long form Instagram Post on Thursday

I try to batch-create content when I can, so I might type out five blog posts in a day if its a content creation day. Today, I’m working on my Instagram captions for my long-form posts, where I’ll save a few at a time to my Scheduled Posts.

career inspirations: a doula living in Toronto helping moms with her own business

1:30 p.m. Lunch break! I put on a wellness or entrepreneurship podcast while I cook. My favorites are the Goop Podcast, Almost 30 & That’s So Retrograde.

3 p.m. – Off to a postpartum follow-up with a birth client. I bring some homemade energy balls that I prepared the day before into my kit. Postpartum nutrition is incredibly important to revitalize the body after a major event.

6 p.m. – Client visit was a success! This visit was focused on talking about breastfeeding tips and sleep hygiene. To get started, the client had a nap while I looked after her little one and folded the laundry while she slept. It’s my job to make that transition to parenthood as relaxing as possible.

6:30 p.m. – Off to drinks with another doula! Entrepreneurship can be lonely, so making friends who know what I’m going through is super important for that girlboss self-care. We vent and talk shop for an hour over a glass of vino–I’m all about a balanced diet!

9:30 p.m. – At the end of my workday, it can be hard to wind down. There’s always more organic social media interaction to be had, or another email to send, or a new research paper about epidurals to read. I wind down by stretching on my yoga mat, then putting on some relaxing meditation tracks to lull me to sleep.

1:30 a.m. – Just kidding! I get a call from a client’s partner––they’re in labor! I throw some dry shampoo in my hair and grab my doula bag for another day on the job.

A day where I get to work on building my business and work with clients directly is a great day! I used to wait around for clients to call me, but now I have a more formal action plan underway.

I started Birth Boss Maternity Care because of how much I love supporting families as they transition to parenthood, but as I grow more into my role as an entrepreneur, I love the business side of things more and more. I love learning, which is always the case as a doula and business owner!

At the end of the day, the #1 thing that will grow my practice is word-of-mouth from being a great doula to my clients, so any day where I get to do what I love and help families is a great day in my book.

Check out the other day-in-the-life pieces in this series

a day in the life of a doula – what's the career like helping moms with birth and supporting their transition to motherhood. find out more and get inspired by Rhiannon's exciting career path.

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