Postpartum Doula, certification necessary?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-24-2008, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm interested in becoming a postpartum doula and was wondering if certification is really necessary.

I was working toward certification as a birth doula before DS was born and won't be getting back to it until after I have a second child. That certification process (with DONA) seemed necessary since I hadn't ever given birth and needed to be informed about the medical aspects of birth, but being a postpartum doula seems possible with what I've already learned through training and personal experience.

Any opinions?
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#2 of 4 Old 03-24-2008, 11:02 PM
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In my area it has been very important to clients that I am certified. I have gotten jobs over other doulas because of this. I think that training/experience is especially important. It really is more than just helping out around the house. Moms expect me to be very knowledgable in a wide range of areas more so than the experience I got from raising my son. I would say breastfeeding knowledge and dealing with postpartum mood disorders probably rate up high on the list as well as soothing techniques. I hope you have fun exploring the field!

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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#3 of 4 Old 03-24-2008, 11:21 PM
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I think, and this is not to slight your experience as a mom, that training as a postpartum doula would benefit you, for the reasons that Amydoula said above. If you had other experience or related training/certifications maybe not. I have done postpartum work in the past but was primarily a birth doula. However, I am the mother of five, former infant daycare worker, certified happiest baby on the block instructor, and certified labor doula. So I did not get certified as a postpartum doula, but since I only did postpartum work once or twice a year it didnt' make sense for me to get the certification.

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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#4 of 4 Old 03-25-2008, 09:19 AM
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Certification wound not be immediately necessary if you had more then your brief parenting experience to pull from professionally.

As the other posters said if you had some other depth of experience in the birth community it would be realistic for you to now work as a postpartum doula. Many of us who don't initially get certified and started working as postpartum doulas were la Leche league leaders, childbirth educators, RN or trained Lactation Consultants beforehand.

You don't necessarily need certification to hold you back.
but you need some type of reservoir of knowledge to offer new parents that is evidenced based knowledge about breastfeeding and maternal mood disorders.

Call up a local doula service and ask if they will train you (I don't know if many do that anymore since the DONA certification is less hassle for service owners). I'm a doula service owner and I used to do a comprehensive training for all my doulas, but most go through DONA now.

Being a mother who breastfed is the right start for being a postpartum doula (you don't need special training to be encouraging, thoughtful, kind, and know how to listen and not judge, you also are already experienced enough to teach someone how to diaper, bath or sooth a newborn, cook, food shop and do laundry!).

However that is just one aspect of the work and learning evidenced based breastfeeding management is what makes this work valuable to new families and what they are paying for so you need more training in that area before you go to work.
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