So you’ve decided to become a doula. On this page we are going to talk how you can go about getting the training, skills and certification you need to start earning customers. Millions of women are discovering the benefits that having a doula brings for their pregnancy, labor, birth and beyond.
Any compassionate woman with an interest in helping others can become a doula
What Does a Doula Do?
Your important job is to turn a mother’s pregnancy into a nurturing, enjoyable journey by providing non-medical coaching and counseling to the entire family. Your day-to-day activities are fun, enjoyable and very rewarding.
No formal training is required, however it is strongly recommended
You can learn on the job from a mentor who is already working as a doula. If you do not want to get formal training, it is essential that you find a mentor who is an experienced doula that is really dedicated to teaching. Otherwise, you may find yourself lacking the skills and know-how once you’re in front of your client! You can learn what they are doing and saying and get to see what their day-to-day work is like. If you choose this route, make sure that you find a mentor who is kind, ready to teach, and practices in the way that you want to practice. Also, learn from the type of doula that you want to be whether you want to become a birth doula, postpartum doula, or antepartum doula.
Why Get Formal Certification?
Moms everywhere are looking for trusted doulas to guide them through the most important journey of their lives. To earn the trust of your clients and to better prepare for your new career, most experienced doulas advise that you get training and credentialing from a trusted source. See a list of places to get certification. On that page you’ll see the time requirements, how much they cost, and their mentorship philosophy.
Un-credentialed doulas may have difficulty finding clients
You can go through most training programs on your own time, and you can work as a doula part-time. In fact, many doulas are women just like you who have found afulfilling and rewarding career.
DONA offers a training and certification program. They require that you attend a DONA approved birth doula workshop for 16 hours, read at least 5 PDF books and their position paper, purchase a birth doula certification packet, and fill out their breastfeeding and childbirth class observation forms. You also need to have been part of at least 3 births and complete a knowledge self-assessment tool. You can visit this page to see more about their accreditation process.
Birth Arts offers an online training program if you do not want to attend an in person workshop. In addition, they have a few local weekend workshops. After the completion of the requirements, they also give future doulas a certification.
Birth Works has a program that has an online training portion, a 3 day in-person workshop, and requirement for being part of 2 births in order to get your certificate.