Natural Birth

Is anyone here a certified doula?

Or know about becoming one?  My natural birth experience with my daughter completely changed my life, and I am seriously considering becoming a doula.  I've been pointed to DONA, CAPPA, and ICEA from three different people and I'm wondering which is "best"?  They all seem pretty darn similar in training and certification requirements, so I'm really not sure how to choose.  Any pointers? 
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Re: Is anyone here a certified doula?

  • My BFF just got done going through her certification process through DONA.  Most doulas I know have a DONA certification.  The process was fairly easy - a weekend conference of classes she had to attend, book list to read, paper to write, and three births to attend.  I think that was all.  She may have also had to take a breastfeeding and/or childbirth class at the local hospital too.

    I always thought being a doula would be fun, but I don't think the hours are realistic with my lifestyle.  I'm not sure how you could do it with small children unless you have a reliable sitter willing to be on call for you 24/7 or a husband with the option to work from home (this is the case with my BFF).

    DS1 - 8/07  DS2 - 1/09  DD1 - 3/11  DD2 - 2/13
  • image +adamwife+:

    My BFF just got done going through her certification process through DONA.  Most doulas I know have a DONA certification.  The process was fairly easy - a weekend conference of classes she had to attend, book list to read, paper to write, and three births to attend.  I think that was all.  She may have also had to take a breastfeeding and/or childbirth class at the local hospital too.


     

    I'm working on my DONA certification now and that pretty much sums it up! I chose DONA because it was recommended to me and every doula I looked at in my area was DONA certified.  I actually just signed up for the workshop today and already have my 3 births lined up. I am lucky enough to have more than one reliable sitter for my LO. I actually plan on doing it very part-time until our kids are a little older...maybe one birth every three months or so. I'm extremely excited to get started!
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  • I've been certified through DONA for several years.  As far as coursework, it's not the best one, imo.  But DONA has the most name recognition, so you're more apt to get clients through them.  

    Most organizations teach you what textbook birth looks like, and I can say that very few of the births I attend are truly textbook (or at least didn't look textbook when I started... I have a new definition of textbook now, that includes lots of variations :)  The best mode of study during the certification process for me, therefore, was to merely seek out doula mentors - midwives and fellow doulas of whom I could ask questions, or send a text while I was at a birth, to get some ideas of what to try in any given situation and then to debrief me post facto.  If there's a local circle that does peer review, definitely seek to them out.

    Good luck!  It's tough and very rewarding work. 

  • Another great course of study is ToLabor (formerly ALACE).

    BFP #1 10/13/09 EDD 06/20/10 DS Born on 06/26/10
    BFP #2 03/08/11 EDD 11/16/11 DD Born on 11/04/11
    BFP #3 08/29/12 EDD 05/06/13 M/C on 08/30/12
    BFP #4 11/01/12 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C on 12/28/12
    BFP #5 04/30/13 EDD 01/03/14 DS Born on 01/02/14
  • Some are more "medically minded" than others.  Some have very strict scopes of practice and others are more of an anything goes mentality.  It's best to figure out which is best for you.  I don't think one is better than any of the others. 

     I'm personally doing mine through BAI because it follows a traditional midwifery model which fits my beliefs the best.  I like that there isn't a strict SOP and I can take as much time as I need to complete my course work.  They offer a distance course so I didn't have to travel for a workshop, which works well for my family.   

     I also just sent off my workbook to be a Hypnobabies Certified Hypno-Doula.  I hope to hear back soon.  

     The one thing I like to point out is that nothing says you HAVE to be certified.  Some of the best doulas I know don't have a certification.  They chose an org for training but decided to not certify for various reasons.  

     Good luck with it!

  • A DONA certification s best, and also the most difficult to get. I have been a certified doula (Aviva) for a year, and still working on my DONA qualifications.  

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