- Women's Health
Certified Doula Training
Many Different Doula Certifying Bodies Exist
Learning about what doula's have to do in order to be certified by an organization is something that gives many expectant mothers and their partners comfort. I remember when I went to get my DONA certification, I was amazed at all of the things that were required before I was able to get my papers done.
If you look online, there are many different places to attend classes to become a doula. Some of them, such as DONA and CAPPA are national organizations. Others are regional or local. By looking at the curriculum that is offered as well as the curriculum that is required, you can quickly determine the level of education that is offered by each one.
At the time that I was completing my certifications, the reason I chose DONA was because of the closeness of the class in comparison to where I resided, as well as the closeness in the calendar of when the next class was. I am still very glad that I chose DONA as they offer excellent resources for the doula in training.
DONA has workshops and lectures that allow you to be a part of the process and connect with other doulas to be able to get great information.
Cautions About Some Classes
I made a mistake when I was first becoming a doula. I took a small local class that was run by a person who explained her "holistic and natural" attitudes towards pregnancy and childbirth.
I liked what she said to me during our first meeting, explaining how she really encouraged women to take an active part in the pregnancy and birthing process. My time in her class was a complete and utter waste of time. The classwork that we were promised did not exist. The information that she gave out was wrong, and some of it was dangerous. Her views were extremely dangerous to women and their unborn child/ren. At the very end of the class, before we were to be given our certificates of completion, we had to sign a document expressing our love and following of her religion. I refused as I am not a believer or follower of her religion.
We got into a debate, and I demanded a refund of my money. I made several complaints to many different places, and she is no longer in business. I learned from this experience that it is your right as a student to see the syllabus, learn what is expected of you and have adequate time to change your mind.
If you are looking into taking classes, ask questions, and look to former students for ideas about how the class went as well as if they would take the class again.
Emergencies Happen, As a Doula, Are You Prepared?
I really liked the DONA classes. Although the primary job of a doula is not to deliver babies, there are times when it can and will happen. A good class and certification program will offer some basic emergency classroom time on what happens and what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.
When an emergency happened and I did find myself in the situation, I was very calm and pulled together. My doula training came into play, and I knew that I was giving the best possible care of my abilities to the birthing mother and her unborn child.
Make Sure the Doula Training You Select Meets Your Needs
A dear friend of mine took a doula class. She lives in a remote, country area. It took a lot of searching to find a class that dealt not only with home births, but with some specific issues of the people who were to be her clients.
It is your money being spent for the certification, and if you are taking a class, you want to make sure that your needs as a future doula are addresses. Ask questions of the programs that you are looking into. Look at options and make lists of the topics that you want to give the most attention to.
Arrange to be Present at Births
Before your doula training, ask the program if there is any way you can be matched up with an experienced doula to observe. Some programs do, and some don't. When you attend classes, bring plenty of business cards to hand out and make contacts.
After I came back from classes, I sent cards and letters to every single person I knew in my area. In less than one month, I had three pregnant women allow me to sit in on their pregnancy with their doula. Ask. Always ask. You cannot even be told a no unless you ask.
During Your Classes
When you are in class, the time will go by fast. I took notes, but I also called ahead and asked if I could use my small flip camera. I was told I could at one of the events, so long as I did not share or sell the videos, and also as long as I gave the each of the teachers a copy.
I agreed, and it was great to be able to watch the videos over and over, taking better notes from the comfort of my own home.
Additionally, in classes, look for where the speakers are set up and try to get as close as you can. Some rooms are very large and the more you hear, the richer your experience.
Before you leave your program, make sure that you have followed all of the instructions in your packet. You will need to mail in things by a certain day, or email them in. Mark this down. I mailed everything before I flew back home. It was easier. I also had the hotel make copies of all of my things.
Make sure that when you get home, you put your copies in a safe place. I was told to allow 7-8 weeks for one class certification that I took to arrive, because it was so popular. Because I filled out everything very carefully and mailed it from the location, I had my certification in less than a week.
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