To certify or not to certify? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-10-2011, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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So... I just wanted to start a conversation about certification.  What are your thoughts?  I don't know exactly what the repercussions of it becoming a customary thing to do (to get certified) would be.  One thing that came to mind was it becoming a more regulated profession. I don't know that it is an entirely pro or entirely con issue, but just wanted to get the convo started.  Anyone NOT choosing to certify?  Why?  

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#2 of 8 Old 08-10-2011, 08:39 PM
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I am signed up with Childbirth International for their doula and CBE courses. Mainly I want to do to certification through them because I want a structured education. I also want certification simply to show clients that I have completed a program.


I was definitely concerned with certification because I did not want to be bound to one particular program's techniques/standards/guidelines/whatever. I want to be able to practice and teach according to who I am and my beliefs on birth. That is why I chose CBI. DONA looked too strict/controlled for me, and some of the others were a little too natural birthy promoting for me. Not that I don't love natural birth and all that....I just wanted to get my education from a source that was a little more unbiased, especially since the majority of people in my community that would hire me as a doula are not into the holistic/natural-ish stuff and would have hospital births.


I don't think that more people certifying would lead to regulating the profession since it isn't a medical profession and you are not responsible for the medical care of the mama and baby. There are so many ways to become a doula and the schools are all different in their just seems like too broad of a spectrum for someone to come along and try to regulate all of it. Does that make sense? I'm tired :)

Mama to DS (9/4/09) babyboy.gif and DD (1/10/11) slinggirl.gif, Wife to my best friend since 11/22/08 partners.gif

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#3 of 8 Old 08-12-2011, 05:56 AM
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I am certified and the reason I did it is because for me I felt like I would be more credible and more professional if I was certified.  I also am one of those people that if I take a training I feel I should finish the certification and not just do it for the personal knowledge or continuing ed.  



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(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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#4 of 8 Old 08-12-2011, 07:00 AM
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Ditto for me too. I'm certifying with BAI. After looking over all the programs I decided I liked it the best. I was torn on certifying at first since it is a big experience, but the program has assignments that go beyond learning about birth and help teach you how to run a doula business. I like having a go to person when I have questions. I also felt that it would help customers to understand that I was serious about this (Not that I personally think that doulas that don't certify are not). I plan to keep furthering my education to show that too.

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#5 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 10:19 AM
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I was certified for a long time, but after a while I began to see that the training is helpful - but the restrictions that are put on a doula who's certified are very limiting. The scope of practice issues can really be frustrating and vague.  But I wouldn't start out uncertified.  I think the regulations and the training really help establish a doula and create confidence.  I used to feel that the cert. made me seem more professional, but after years of doing this I've never had anyone ask about it.  The certification really helps establish boundaries and standards that might not exist if doulas were all just doing their own thing.  I prefer it, but for now I'm uncertified until I can find the right niche for me.  I guess it depends on how knowledgable you are to start with...?

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#6 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 01:47 PM
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i did the training and was ready to certify and decided not too. I think as long as you are adequately trained and knowledgable then certification is unneccessary, if you want to do it, if you dont, dont :P Ive never had anyone ask about certification.

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#7 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 04:57 AM
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Becoming certified takes a lot of hard work, time and money but is well worth it! The organizations that certify have many years of knowledge and experience they can share with you. The Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice are set up not only to protect your clients but to protect the doula from overstepping her boundaries in what is the true profession of being a birth or postpartum doula. Professional doulas are there for physical, emotional and informational support not to give their own opinion or to butt heads with that woman's chosen medical care provider. If you stay within the COE and SOP, you serve your client well while raising the doula profession to the level of respect it deserves within the birth community. Educating women with evidence based research as to their options and encouraging them to ask the right questions, empowers the woman and supports her in her choices. It's also great to be a part of a professional organization that continues to educate, mentor and support you as a doula with their newsletters, forums and resources!
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#8 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 09:39 AM
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not all doula organizations are like that though, I cant speak for all of them but i didnt feel i got any extra support or education when I trained. You really can do all of that on your own as well. Being a professional doula isnt about credentials, its about experience and the way you practice the trade, good doulas boost the profession regardless of their certification. Ive talked to and met many doulas in my area (we have a group) and I couldnt tell you where any of them trained, and if they are still members of the organizations.

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Birth Arts International , Doula Training , Doula Programs

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