There are a variety of doula certifications available for women venturing into the thrilling and rewarding work of supporting families at the time of birth. There are so many available that it can be hard to choose when you are new to the birth scene. We love this list of things to consider when choosing a doula certification. Written by our very own Birth Boot Camp DOULA trainer, Amanda Devereux, she simply knows what she is talking about. Not only is Amanda an experienced and successful doula, she, along with Maria Pokluda, helped form the stellar Birth Boot Camp DOULA program. Enjoy her words and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We would love to help!
8 things you should consider when choosing doula certification-
1. Will I learn how to support a woman during labor and birth?
Of course, a doula training should actually train you to do the work of a doula. One of the doula’s main jobs at the birth is hands-on, physical support and knowledge during the labor and birth of the baby. Online or distance courses simply can’t provide this in the same way an in-person training can.
2. Will I learn how to support a woman’s partner during labor and birth?
Birth support is more than just supporting the laboring woman. The doula should not be the center piece, the partner is her hero and champion; the doula is the partner’s life line!
3. What type of business support and training will I receive?
Having the skills of a doula is just part of this. Learning to be an entrepreneur is equally important. Will you learn interview skills? Will you be provided contracts? Will you gain networking tips? Will you be prepared to leave training and launch a successful business? The skills to support at birth will find little foothold if you lack the ability to implement them and let people know about the incredible service you offer.
4. How will this certifying body market me?
You pay a good chunk of money for training and certification. What do you get from this? Is your certifying body promoting you? Providing marketing materials? Anything else?
5.What type of lactation training is provided?
A doula typically helps with baby’s first latch and then with some breastfeeding support at a postpartum and often times in between. You should know what training is provided for this. You should be comfortable not only with providing support during this time but with knowing when to refer. Truly being able to help in the precious first days of breastfeeding will often require more than just personal breastfeeding experience or attendance at a La Leche League meeting.
6. Is the philosophy of the program congruent with my own ideas of birth work?
A certification agency should offer you something – a community- and this is most beneficial to you when the philosophy of the program is one that promotes your work and passion. Ideas relating to birth abound! Find an organization that you can truly get behind.
7. Am I comfortable with the Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics?
Do you find it limiting? Does it help you build your professional practice? Does it result in greater professionalism? Doulas are present for one of life’s great events. A doula who doesn’t understand how to practice in an ethical way or within her scope can cause heartache for the entire community.
8. What do I gain from re-certification?
Re-certification, in professional fields, is important to show that an individual is current in their area of expertise, is safe to practice and is maintaining their knowledge and standards as a professional. You should gain more than the maintenance of letters at the end of your name. Doula re-certification should offer you personal growth as well as continued business, education and/or marketing support.
I am proud to say Birth Boot Camp DOULA offers all of this and more. Learn to doula beyond “The Birth Partner.” Whether you are an aspiring doula or an experienced doula, we offer you MORE. Join us in 2015.