Doulas: how important is DONA certification? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm researching doula training options, and was planning on doing a distance-learning course, but just realized that courses like that don't qualify for DONA certification.

With an infant who's teething (and nursing constantly), I like the idea of a course that I can do from home...

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#2 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I'm confused. You want to cert with DONA? They have a distance-learning course if you want to use them. You can only use their specific training. Other organizations also have distance courses so there are plenty of options. In addition to DONA, there's CAPPA, tolabor, birtharts, and more!

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#3 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Actually, I'm not sure if toLabor has a distance program, but the others all do.

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#4 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My understanding is that in order to say you're DONA-certified as a doula, you have to have taken one of their classes, none of which are distance-learning classes. Maybe I misunderstood?

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#5 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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My understanding is that in order to say you're DONA-certified as a doula, you have to have taken one of their classes, none of which are distance-learning classes. Maybe I misunderstood?
I did not choose to train through DONA, but that is my understanding as well. Here is their requirements page, and attending one of their workshops is #1:
http://www.dona.org/develop/birth_cert.php

I chose ALACE/toLabor, and they also require that you attend one of their workshops in order to be certified as a birth doula. Their CBE program is a distance program though.

-Amanda
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#6 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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I am working on my DONA birth doula certification. As far as I know, you have to attend one of their workshops. You cannot bring your baby with you, but you can have someone come by with her like every 3 hours so that she can nurse, and then that someone takes her to watch again, if that makes sense. The reading, test, write-ups, and births are all done on your own, wherever you live.

ETA: I am going with DONA because they are one of the largest, and probably the most well-known, doula organization. With a military spouse, I wanted a "credential", if you will, that was well-recognized. And for people who don't know about doulas and just google search it, DONA is one of the first links that comes up, and they can then search by state and city. That said, I don't like their certification process. But for my situation, I felt that the name was needed.

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#7 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Oh okay, I know DONA used to have a distance course that was available for those who couldn't otherwise attend a workshop. It's been years since I checked out DONA so I guess they may have done away with that.

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#8 of 22 Old 02-08-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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CAPPA has a video course:
http://www.cappa.net/get-certified.php?labor-doula

I don't know anyone who has taken it, but there are a lot of CAPPA doulas in my area.

Then there are the others that are more well-known for distance-training: CBI, BAI, Aviva...

-Amanda
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#9 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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I am a very happy CAPPA certified doula. I know a few ladies who have done distance programs and were very happy with the support they recieved from CAPPA while finishing the program requirements.

mom to Reaghan born underwater into midwife's hands 1/17/07 & Myra born surrounded by doulas and midwife at home 1/12/09. Birth Educator, and Photographer, Baby #3 Coming May 2013!

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#10 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 04:54 AM
 
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Oh okay, I know DONA used to have a distance course that was available for those who couldn't otherwise attend a workshop. It's been years since I checked out DONA so I guess they may have done away with that.
I've been a DONA doula for 10 years and I've never heard or seen of a distance workshop. You can take the breastfeeding requirement online, but not the actual workshop.

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#11 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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I attended my DONA workshop when my DS1 was 7 months old. My MIL brought him to me throughout my classes and I nursed him there. I also pumped on one of the short days and she fed him one bottle. It was definitely not ideal, but I knew the opportunity to have a DONA workshop in my town again anytime soon was not probable.

I have enjoyed being DONA certified. The advantages to me are good continuing education, well respected credentials, and numerous referrals from the DONA website.

That said, I am planning on doing post-partum doula training with Birth Arts International. I like their distance education process, and due to the shortage of PP doulas in my area, I do not need the DONA referral process to obtain clients.

I do not think DONA certification is necessary, but it is nice for me. HTH!

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#12 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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I'm training through ALACE/toLabor, their childbirth philosophy is more in tune to mine than DONA.

Wife to Jesse, Mom to Ayden 12/01, Kailey 07/03, Ashlyn 6/05, Dylan 9/07, & Riley 12/09

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#13 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wholewheatchick View Post
You cannot bring your baby with you, but you can have someone come by with her like every 3 hours so that she can nurse, and then that someone takes her to watch again, if that makes sense.
Each trainer sets her own requirements for whether babies can attend. So if you can find a workshop in your area, I would call or e-mail the trainer for more info on this issue.
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#14 of 22 Old 02-14-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by April422 View Post
I've been a DONA doula for 10 years and I've never heard or seen of a distance workshop. You can take the breastfeeding requirement online, but not the actual workshop.
I distinctly remember them offering a distance course. It wasn't something offered to everyone. You were told to contact them directly if you had an extreme case that wouldn't allow you to attend any workshop in person & they'd send a workshop on tape.

ETA: I saw the info about it once on the website years ago & asked the local training coordinator about it after that & she confirmed that they do offer it in extreme cases.

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#15 of 22 Old 02-15-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Just as PP's said, some classes you are allowed to have infants that are nursing. I just did the DONA class this weekend and the rule the instructor had was that infants could be there for the whole weekend if they were under 6 months old. Otherwise they could come on breaks and lunch to nurse.

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#16 of 22 Old 02-15-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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As far as I am aware, as well, DONA does not offer distance training. You can certainly contact them, or a DONA trainer in your area to ask.

Best of luck to you.

Michelle
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#17 of 22 Old 02-15-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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#18 of 22 Old 02-16-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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On a side note about babies attending, my son was a year old when I went to my DONA workshop. I took him with me at the instructors suggestion as I wouldn't have been able to attend otherwise. He wasn't walking yet but was all over the place and it still worked out just fine.

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#19 of 22 Old 02-21-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wholewheatchick View Post
ETA: I am going with DONA because they are one of the largest, and probably the most well-known, doula organization. With a military spouse, I wanted a "credential", if you will, that was well-recognized. And for people who don't know about doulas and just google search it, DONA is one of the first links that comes up, and they can then search by state and city. That said, I don't like their certification process. But for my situation, I felt that the name was needed.
I'm with wholewheatchick; DONA is definitely one of the largest and most well-known Doula training programs - however, their certification process is a little wonky and I'm not completely fond of it.

My only issue with most accredited Doula programs is that they're usually made up of a three-day course, which I find hard to believe that you can follow in-depth. There's a great course/program through a non-accredited school "Aviva Institute" (I don't know if anyone's familiar) - that has, what seems to be, an absolutely unsurpassed approach to Doula certification. Again, they're currently unaccredited (they're going through the process as of last October [2008, I believe] - and are almost through with it), so if you need the accreditation appeal, DONA is definitely your best bet.

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#20 of 22 Old 02-22-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by April422 View Post
I've been a DONA doula for 10 years and I've never heard or seen of a distance workshop. You can take the breastfeeding requirement online, but not the actual workshop.
Actually, April422 is dead-on, you cannot take the actual three/four day workshop on a distance basis (you must attend one with an accredited, approved instructor) - however, reading the book list (obviously) and attending births, etc. can be done in your hometown, or as close to that as possible.

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#21 of 22 Old 02-22-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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To reply to your title question, only you can decide how important certification is to you in your specific area.
There are several certifying agencies, and it would then give you that credintial. I personally feel like you are paying for the title, but that is me.
I chose to train with DONA, as they had the only hands on workshop in my area, and I feel in-person-learning provides something that no "distance" read on your own program can.

I met all requirements and chose not to certify for several personal reasons.

You may want to look at the climate where you are. Is it all "mainstream" where every person looks at credintials and no farther when deciding to hire a doula? Or are in a bit of a more open minded area that takes personality, experience, education and such into account?

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#22 of 22 Old 02-22-2010, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There's a great course/program through a non-accredited school "Aviva Institute" (I don't know if anyone's familiar) - that has, what seems to be, an absolutely unsurpassed approach to Doula certification.
This is the course I was considering for distance-learning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamato3cherubs View Post
You may want to look at the climate where you are. Is it all "mainstream" where every person looks at credintials and no farther when deciding to hire a doula? Or are in a bit of a more open minded area that takes personality, experience, education and such into account?
Good point. I'm in a very open-minded area, and one that is saturated with doulas, probably.

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