Becoming a Doula
Are you ready to start your career as a doula, but don't know where to start?
I'd love to support you on your path to becoming a professional doula!
If you do a simple google search or ask in a doula forum, for doula trainings, you will come across a myriad of training organizations. Each holding different philosophies, certification processes, and fees.
Things to consider when looking for a training organization
Despite there being some highly recognized trainings, there are only a few that offer standardized training; meaning that all the trainers have gone through the same process to train other doulas ensuring that all the doulas trained through that organization have received the same materials and information.
Training supports all types of births and parenting styles
Certain training organizations only speak and train in supporting the "natural" "unmedicated" "sacred" ways of birth and brush over other realistic births, such as providing support when the birthing person chooses an epidural or requires a cesarean. Likewise in a postpartum training, it may only be geared to supporting the "attachment parenting" style and only cover breastfeeding, and or "traditional parenting" styles. Your training should equip you to provide support to every family's unique dynamics and needs.
Training covers infant feeding methods
Just like birth may look differently, so can a way a baby eats. While some families may begin breastfeeding, others may have opted to formula feed their baby since birth. It's important to know how to support families in their infant feeding choices, without bias.
After your doula training, you should have an understanding of how to get started as a professional doula. The doula training should cover even briefly marketing, contracts, what to do in certain scenarios and how to go out and begin your doula journey.
Are you required to read 3-5 books or more? Write papers on certain topics? Shadow other births? How many births are required to attend and do only certain births count? Is there a requirement as to by when you should arrive? What about reviews from clients? Do you need them from nurses and providers too? Most training organizations require three births for certification, and some have limits such as arriving at a certain dilation, or only counting vaginal deliveries and one cesarean even if the clients you're supporting have a cesarean. Some organizations require reviews from clients, nurses, and providers, although it is the client who you are providing services for.
Attending a training is going to cost you anywhere from $400-$900, this includes books you may need for the training. On top of this some training organizations have a fee for purchasing the certification packet and a fee for processing it as well. There is a also a membership cost for some organizations. This is an investment in your doula career, but make sure your fees get you something in return such as:
Find a training that has office support. Seriously. You never know when you're going to need a little pep talk, or need clarification or have a situation come up that you need additional support in. Your training organization should be available, supportive, and value you as a member of their organization, especially if you are paying a membership fee and are working towards certification or are already certified.
After your training, you should feel confident and ready to start your business and provide services to families.
Who I recommend:
Just like when a birthing person asks me for recommendations when it comes to providers, birthing facilities, comfort measures, etc. as their doula, I don't tell my clients who to go to or what to do, but present them with all their options and let them be the deciding factor in their journey. Similarly, as a professional doula, when aspiring doulas contact me, I present them with questions for them to think about and make that decision on who they want to train with. The only recommendation I make is that it's an in-person training, as I strongly believe there is a lot of value in learning the comfort measures hands-on. It makes a difference and you'll be more confident in applying them in the birth setting or in the family's home.
Call or email me, I am always happy to chat and help you weigh out your options. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our events as we host a "Let's Talk Doulas!" talk every few months to discuss these points.