I'm looking to either become a birth doula or a CBE ... or possibly both. I'm trying to decide on the best path forward. I have had 5 births, all in hospitals with different levels of interventions, 2 with epidurals that never took and was left without pain relief, the last two midwife delivered births - completely natural and awesome births. I'm very passionate about support and education for the mom to empower her in her decisions surrounding the birth. I'm not sure what the best route would be for me to become a CBE or labor/birth doula. I've looked into DONA, CAPPA and ICEA. Any opinions or help? ETA: Are most CBE RNs first? It seems that many jobs I've seen posted are looking for people with nursing degrees (I'm not a nurse). I wonder if that makes it harder to find a job in this field.
Trying to decide on a program ...
I don't know a ton about the different certifications, so I can only tell you what my plan is. I decided to get a DONA doula certification because it is a pre-requisite for the midwifery program I will be applying to eventually. I also need a childbirth educator training, and the only ones they accept are ICEA and Lamaze. I will chose whichever one happens to be the most convenient location and time for me since I'll have to travel quite some distance to attend one of those classes.
If I were you I would look into what training are available in your area, and how many practicing doulas and childbirth educators are nearby. I'd also see if a local hospital has a volunteer doula program as it would be a (free) foot in the door and you would only be on call specific days of the week instead of 24/7 like a self-employed doula. If you do want to start your own doula practice I'd probably suggest DONA because it is the most difficult doula certification to get and its probably the most reputable. But will it be possible for you to drop everything to attend a birth at a moment's notice? If not, you might want to consider childbirth education instead because that can be scheduled at the same time each week, but you probably can't make a living on that alone.