Making the Switch
There are many doula training organizations out there that have different philosophies, standards of care, and certifying processes, and associated fees.
When I decided to look into a doula training, there was one training organization that kept coming up in the search engines. I had heard of this organization before, and there just happened to be an upcoming training in Medford, so I jumped on that opportunity without doing much research of anything else. The training provided me with an understanding of the basic skills to support laboring women. I had the opportunity to meet new people who, like me, were excited about becoming doulas. I left the training feeling intrigued to learn more and start attending births immediately.
I remember discussing my plans with my husband; to attend as many births as possible for free to gain experience. I was working towards my certification and it was very common for doulas to not charge until becoming certified. I attended about 5 births within four months, and none of them counted towards my certification as per the training organization's requirement, doulas needed to be with the laboring woman at or before four centimeters of dilation. My plans changed. Maybe I did not need to be certified. There are many doulas who never seek certification, and that was OK. My husband kept encouraging me to follow through, but I had already invested money, time and energy that I felt like I could not continue. How many more births did I have to attend to count towards my certification? I ONLY needed to submit three! I was burned out. Around the same time, my life was going in a different direction. I had left my job of almost six years and transitioned to a new one putting a halt on my doula career. I still want to be a doula. My heart is in this, but how? l
I joined some doula Facebook groups to keep connected to other doulas and learn from their experiences until I was ready to jump back in.. This is where I came across a group of doulas who were assertive, passionate, and dedicated to raise the standards of doula care. I'll admit that I felt very intimidate by this group and never really posed any questions, because I knew that their responses would not be filled with rainbows and unicorns, but alas, I remained in the group. A new world. I observed. I learned. I applied. The doulas in this group are successful. They love their career, and don't feel burnt out. They take valuable time to educate, encourage, and kick you in the ass when you need it. Remember I said no rainbows and unicorns? They truly believe that doulas can be successful. This made sense. I want to be a successful doula, but didn't know how. I began looking into this training that these successful doulas kept talking about; what their philosophies were, what their requirements for certification were. If I was going to invest anymore in this, I needed to make sure it was the right choice. It was. I decided to take advantage of their cross-certification program, since I had already attended an in-person training. Their welcoming voice when I called for the first time, their immediate responses to my questions and concerns. Within a week, I received my workbook. I read it in one night. My excitement to be a doula was reignited. The process to become certified makes sense, it's meaningful, self motivating and encouraging. I don't need to read 5 books and write an essay for each one. I don't need to be with a client at four centimeters dilated, if she doesn't need me then. I do need to learn what is true for the community I am serving, so that I can provide better support and factual information. I do need to be compensated for my time and energy in supporting my clients.
Since making the switch, I have learned that I can have my dream job and be successful at it. That I can call my current training organization and anyone in the office or who is a trainer is happy and willing to help. That the training they provide is standardized so all doulas going through their training are receiving the same information. They value success. They value relationships with every member of a clients birth team, including doctors, midwives, nurses, etc. They encourage doulas to network and establish these relationships. They value business and professionalism, and know that this cannot be achieved by doulas providing bias support. I have direction now and the path to make Rogue Valley Doulas successful, thanks to ProDoula.