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Becoming a Doula Questions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am wondering about the paths that people took to becoming a doula. How did you get started? Did you certify? With who? Also, how long did it take you? How expensive was it to get the training? Are you enjoying the work? Being paid reasonably for it? Able to balance doula with family life?

THANKS!
post #2 of 9
I trained with both DONA and ALACE but I preferred ALACE. The workshops are a weekend long and both around $400ish. I hated hospital births, and once I had attended a homebirth it just really went downhill fast. I don't enjoy hospital births and I'm not attending them anymore. Childcare was really hard too, and I have 2 now (only one when I was attending births). I prefer the CBE side, personally, but that's just my personality.
post #3 of 9
I am in the process of becoming certified through CAPPA (Childbirth & Postpartum Professionals Association) and I really loved the facilitator I had during training. I'm not sure where you live, but her name is Rena' Ward and she is in Southern Cali. She was amazing. The workshop cost $350.

I will need three births to become certified. I have two births coming up in Jan/Feb so I will only need one more. From start to finish, it will probably take me about a year to complete all of the requirements. Mainly because I work full time and I'm in graduate school full time. I am enjoying this work so far! Working with mamas is an incredible opportunity. I think being paid reasonably depends on your location, your experience, your personality, and your view of "reasonable." :

I think it is very easy to feel like you are in a tug of war between your work and your family with this type of "job." I think balance is key. Having a supportive network of doula friends or birth junkies is important and having an understanding partner is vital.

Good luck on your path!
post #4 of 9
Megan, I did my training through DONA at the Seattle Midwifery School. I loved the training (2 two-day sessions) and the staff (and especially the beautiful campus). That being said, if I had to do it again I would train through ALACE (and still might in the future) since I have only heard positive things about their trainings and their philosophy is closely aligned with mine.

Haven't been attending births lately, with the babe and all, but hope to start up again by next summer. Think reliable childcare .
post #5 of 9
I trained with CAPPA. If I were to do it again I'd go with CBI.

My training was so-so. At the time I wasn't apprenticing yet but still working with a homebirth midwife...I learned more from her than I did at the training I spent hundreds of $$ on. :

Since I have that hands-on available, I would have done just fine with the correspondance training through CBI.


I absolutely LOVE the work! The childbirth classes fit my schedule much better of course but I love working with women and supporting them during labor.

I think I am being paid reasonably. I have set my doula fee similar to others in the area and also work on a sliding scale (like most do).

It can be tough going to births when you have little ones at home. It's important to set up a support system before you have any clients. And then have a couple back-up plans.
post #6 of 9
Personally i feel i learne dthe most from books and hands on. Most of what is covered in the workshops was review for me. And they are sooo expensive.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
CBI looks cool. It seems like all the other doulas here are DONA certified, so perhaps that is what I should do. I have access to clients and hands-on as soon as I want, which is great.

Thanks for all the information!
post #8 of 9
i loved the training with ALACE i did in january. I am finishing up my final exam this weekend. I got 6 births in pretty easy and started the readings before attending the trainings, if you have to wait for one in your area.

i have a friend that did the ALACE training with me and she watched my DD for me. DH has been available for our DD, otherwise as births usually occur mostly at night. It helps to have a partner or back-up doula if you want to do this more full-time, i would say.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by laneysprout View Post
Megan, I did my training through DONA at the Seattle Midwifery School. I loved the training (2 two-day sessions) and the staff (and especially the beautiful campus). That being said, if I had to do it again I would train through ALACE (and still might in the future) since I have only heard positive things about their trainings and their philosophy is closely aligned with mine.

Haven't been attending births lately, with the babe and all, but hope to start up again by next summer. Think reliable childcare .
It'd be 100% worth it if you could do it. Even having been a CBE and trained by DONA, I learned a lot in the ALACE workshop. I haven't attended a birth in almost 2 years but I may do an ALACE workshop again next year because it was so awesome
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