How do you go about becoming a Doula??
After I had DD2 I have been really interested in helping other women to birth better (for want of a better word). I had really great labours and really great VB's and would love to be able to help others feel that they can have this too.
A few of my close friends who have kids (actually all of them that have kids) have had either a c/s or a horrible time birthing whether it be due to the environment, anxious support people or bad hospital service.
Like I said I would like to help other women have better, more enjoyable birthing experiences.
Out of 5 girls (in my circle of friends) I am the only one who VB'd. As far as statistics go that to me is terrible and in a couple of my friends cases a c/s or major episiotomy could have been avoided!!
I have been looking at websites about it for a couple of days and can't find any training or info courses that are in Sydney (well one but not a date set yet so I can't book as I don't want to not be able to make it).
Luckily, there are many different ways to becomming a Doula, so don't be discouraged! It's wonderful that you are pursuing a path that will be so rewarding for yourself and others! :thumbsup:
One of the most common ways to certify is to go through a local organisation that offers a workshop or certification course. This usually means attending in person, but there are also a few correspondence courses you can take (ie. via mail).
I am not familiar with what types of organisations are running in the Sydney area and cannot offer any comments as to the best ones available locally (although I am certain there might be other members of BubHub who can offer their personal experiences and advice when it comes to choosing an institute).
I can, however, tell you that there are reputable international Doula Certification organisations that offer correspondence courses. Childbirth International certifies both Doulas and Childbirth Educators, and are actually holding a workshop in Sydney on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of April 2006. Certification fees are fairly reasonable and comparable what other organisations charge. The website is:
Many other organisations offer correspondence courses, doing a search should bring up a few.
A workshop is a great introductory toward Doula certification, but I don't believe that you can usually certify by only attending a workshop. More commonly, you will have several other requirements and tests to submit through a course format to certify. This may be different depending on what particular organisation you choose (sorry I can't offer you links at this time - it's 6am local and I haven't been to bed yet, hehe!)...
If the cost and the requirements are intimidating to you, you can always choose the option not to certify at all. Certification is not a requirement to practise as a Doula, but you WILL need to be knowledgable on all current birth subjects and information. If you choose not to formally certify, you can best achieve your knowledge-base by reading a LOT of books, reports, talking with women/other Doulas/midwives, watching birth videos and reading birth stories to familiarise yourself with how women act and what they want during birth, and attending conferences to keep you up-to-date and network. This is very important, as information is the best thing you can provide your clients.
In my experience, clients generally don't care so much about you being certified as they do about you being able to adequately support them and provide them with relevant, current information to better help with their decisions.
Certainly, if you chose to forgo certification, you could still market yourself as a "trainee" Doula, offering no/low cost services until you had gained sufficient knowledge and confidence to begin charging for your experience (although there is certainly nothing stopping you from charging "full price").
Be sure to keep up with current birth information to pass on to your clients. You might consider looking over a Doula course curriculum to give you an idea of what certified Doulas learn, and to get ideas on reading lists for what books might be most helpful to you in your educational journey.
Whatever you choose, good luck on your path to becomming a wonderful Doula and birth advocate! :)
im so glad you asked that, as i was wondering this myself not too long ago.
It would be a fantastic to be a doula.
I originally wanted to start my journey into midwifery, due to that fact, some of the midwifes i experienced were horribly rude, and felt women need much more support.
Although in saying that, i did have some lovely midwives too!
Anyways good luck in finding out about it. Think i will look into that path myself one day soon.
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