Interested in becoming a doula, certification pros/cons? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 03-13-2011, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!  I've been feeling pulled towards the birthing community for a few years now, and the call is getting stronger!  love.gif  I do a lot of advocacy work for births, and have had several experiences helping new mamas...and I love it! 

 

I'm considering becoming a doula.  So....can you talk to me about the pros/cons of certifying?  If I don't certify, how to train?  I am interested in becoming a doula as I explore my path potentially towards midwifery.  In our area, there aren't a ton of midwives, and really no one to allow me to apprentice under.  Truth be told, I'm a little too busy full-time mothering for midwifery, but I believe I could make a gradual move towards becoming a birth doula.

 

Any advice?  Tips??  Thank you in advance!!

 

~Jennifer


 

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#2 of 10 Old 03-14-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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I'll preface this by saying I haven't attended a birth yet, but I am also an aspiring midwife and I just finished an intense weekend doula workshop with toLabor. I was blown away by their program--it is awesome, comprehensive, and life changing. I plan on becoming certified with them, and I am comfortable with their scope of practice compared to a program like DONA (I know there have been other threads on that topic), because it really is about what you are trained to do both within their training program and outside of it, rather than a bunch of specific rules. They encourage you to define yourself as a professional birth assistant and be honest about what you are qualified/licensed to do and what you are not.

 

I had a midwife describe their program to me as "midwifery lite" and it is true--they are strongly grounded in the midwifery model of care, but I feel very well prepared to start educating and helping clients in a hospital setting or at home (though most clients are going to be in birth centers or hospitals, of course). I can't say enough good things about the training, whether you go on to certify or not. I've read and seen a lot, but I still learned a ton this weekend and if they are coming anywhere near you, I'd highly recommend their program.

 

There are other great programs out there of course--some online only, some with on-site/hands-on training--but for me, toLabor (formerly part of ALACE) was perfect.

 

Good luck in your path!


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#3 of 10 Old 03-14-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!  I appreciate your response.  I hadn't heard of the program you attended, so I'm anxious to look at their website and see what they have to offer and if it's available around here.

 

Many wishes on your journey, too!  How exciting!  Are you nervous about juggling little ones with a birth-assistant career and the hours that go with it?


 

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#4 of 10 Old 03-15-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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Another good option for doula training is BirthWorks:

 

www.birthworks.org

 

I am going through their childbirth educator program right now, after having finished DONA doula certification and find myself wishing that I'd gone through BirthWorks for the doula certification as well. Their program is just more comprehensive and evidence-based.


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13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#5 of 10 Old 03-16-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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I've heard great things about BirthWorks too, as phathui mentioned.

 

I am definitely nervous about juggling birth work with little ones/family. That was one of the most comforting parts of the weekend--talking to the instructor (who is the director of the program; she doesn't do all of the trainings but happened to be doing this one), who started attending births when the youngest of her 6 children was 1 year old. She said it's important to remember that it isn't all or nothing; we don't have to be attending births to be doing "birth work" in other areas of our lives, and she made sure we understood that it is OK and important to prioritize family as well as our clients' needs (mostly by anticipating and avoiding conflicts--of course a high level of availability and professionalism are important, but we need to know when to step back too). Also, one of the attendants at the workshop had come four years prior, but decided to delay attending births while her children were small, and has been involved in other ways. So I don't know how many births I will take on at first (that is also dependent on finding clients, of course!), but I plan to move slowly and mindfully.


Stay-at-home mama married to my best friend of 10+ years. lovestory.gif  Aspiring midwife loving parenting our beautiful babyf.gif Julian, born 5/24/09. Expecting a second bean in late July 2012!joy.gif
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#6 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Hello there mamas! I've also been thinking about training to become a doula (as well as a lactation consultant), but also have 2 little ones and am working full-time. I was wondering how you choose which program to do your training. Did you jump right in? Or start little by little?


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#7 of 10 Old 05-18-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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I looked into what other doulas in my area were certified in and that's what I went with.  My area is all DONA so that's who I'm certifying with.  I just finished my training course and loved it!  I feel confident that I can help a woman have a great and empowering birth. 


hippie.gifmom to DS 9/8/8 sleepytime.gif, married to my best friend since 10/15/05 love.gif, asl.gif,lactivist.gif, After TTC #2 for a really long time we're expecting #2 in December!  Hope to h20homebirth.gif, Doula in the Indianapolis area, PM me if you want to talk!

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#8 of 10 Old 05-19-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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I did my trainings and certification work with DONA as well.  The training was good,  not as intensive as some of the other certifying agencies but a good groundwork. You really learn by actually attending births - you might have read about all the tricks of the trade, but there is nothing like experience.  The requirements to document those births with reviews and birth stories are helpful in getting you to reflect on what happened and learn from it.

 

After I attended my certifying births I was super gung-ho to get all the documentation in and get my spiffy certificate...but I sent it in early in February and still haven't received anything but an email from DONA apologizing for the lengthy delay.  The longer it has been, the less attached I am to my certification.  Clients just don't seem to care - they care about your reputation, your personality, and your references. 

 

In the end...the training was worth it, but I probably could have saved some $ and skipped the actual certification part :)


Birth Doula in Los Angeles

www.gentledoula.com

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#9 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyssa in LA View Post
In the end...the training was worth it, but I probably could have saved some $ and skipped the actual certification part :)


I have been wondering about this, too!  Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience.


 

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#10 of 10 Old 05-22-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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I am trailed trough DONA but remain uncertified by choice. I am trained in other complimentary modalities and under DONA's scope of practice, I am unable to offer them to clients while calling myself a DONA doula. 


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