I have been interested in becoming a doula for some time (about 5 years). I used to be an academic with a PhD in chemistry but after two years of a post-doctoral fellowship I decided academic and laboratory work were not for me. I have been a stay at home mom for awhile now and have 3 children, all with different birth experience. My most beautiful birth was my third who was born at home surrounded by family. That made me consider midwifery in addition to being a doula. With a newborn I am not ready to dive into midwifery right now, but I do have the time and resources to work on doula cerification. I have two questions.
1.) What are my options for doula certification? I have looked into DONA and like it but I want to know all of my options.
2.) I am prepared to fully immerse myself in becoming and being a doula. But since my homebirth I really feel midwifery might be my eventual path. Would training to be and working as a doula for a few years be good preparation before starting direct-entry midwifery studies? I am not interested in becoming a CNM, I would rather do CPM.
There's DONA, CAPPA... is ALACE still around? There are other doula training courses, too, that aren't really affiliated with certification.
Any experience with labor support, healthcare, breastfeeding, CPR certification, etc, will be very useful toward future midwifery studies.
You don't technically need a certification to be a doula, but I did find the DONA training to be super helpful. If I were you, I would find out which programs has trainers nearest to you - at least in my part of the country there is only one doula trainer in the state and she is DONA so that was the major factor in my decision.
I also plan on starting a midwifery program at some point, and two of the programs I am considering require a DONA birth doula training specifically as a pre-requisite. So you might want to check the requirements for the midwifery program you are most likely to attend.
I did my doula training and certification before I started midwifery school. Attending births is good preparation for midwifery. It could also help you to get an apprenticeship.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds