How to Become a Doula

Introduction: What is a doula?

A doula is a professional who provides support to families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Doulas are trained in a variety of techniques to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to families. They can be an important part of the birth team, providing continuity of care and support throughout the birthing process. Doulas can help families make informed decisions about their birth choices and advocate for their wishes during labor and delivery. Doulas can provide postpartum support for families adjusting to life with a new baby.

Who should choose to be a doula?

If you have a passion for supporting mothers and newborns, then becoming a doula will be a rewarding career choice for you.  Most women start out by having an interest in labor support, childbirth education, or a general need to help people.  That interest makes the transition into a professional career much easier.

Getting started is not as difficult as you might think. The following is a general outline of what you have to do to become a doula as well as common issues and questions to think about as you begin your path as a professional doula.

Different types of doulas.

Different types of doulas come in all shapes and sizes, so finding one that’s right for you is important.

There are different types of doulas, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing what type of doula you want is the first step to becoming one.

The four main types of doulas are: certified professional doulas (CPDs), birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and night nurses.

Each type of doula has a different role to play in your birth or postpartum experience.

Doula certification and training programs.

A doula is a trained professional who provides support and guidance to families during the birthing process. There are a variety of certification and training programs available, so it’s important to do your research to find one that’s reputable and fits your needs. Some things you may want to consider when choosing a program include the length of the program, the cost, and the curriculum. Once you’ve completed a program, you’ll need to get certified by an organization such as DONA International or CAPPA. Becoming a doula can be an incredibly rewarding experience – you get to help families bring new life into the world!

How to become a certified doula through DONA International or CAPPA.

Doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

To become a certified doula through DONA International or CAPPA, you must complete a training program and pass an exam.

Doulas must also be insured and have liability coverage.

Some states have additional requirements for doulas, such as certification in CPR or first aid.

The cost of doula certification and membership fees.

The cost of doula certification and membership fees can vary depending on the organisation you choose to go with.

Some doula organisations offer discounts or payment plans to make certification more affordable.

Certification itself is not required to practice as a doula, but many clients prefer to work with certified professionals.

There are many ways to offset the cost of certification, such as working as an apprentice with an experienced doula.

In some cases, your doula organisation may cover the cost of certification (or part thereof) if you agree to volunteer with them for a certain period of time.

Decide on Which Type of Doula You Want to Be

There are different types of doulas who help different types of people.  Most doulas are birth and postpartum doulas that help support mothers, newborns, and their families.  However, there are many different types of doulas who help different types of people.  Deciding on which type of doula you want to be will influence what type of training you will receive.

How to Become a Certified Doula

In order to receive a certification, you must enroll and complete the requirements of a certificate-granting doula program.  Almost all programs require you to attend childbirth education and birth doula workshops, observe 3 or more childbirths, reading training literature, and write essays to reflect on what you have learned.

Getting a certification adds to your qualifications as a birth doula and makes you more marketable to potential clients when you finish your training.  There are many advantages to getting certified, but there are a few things to think about before deciding on persuing a certification.  For example, the reading materials and coursework offered by a certification program can be academically rigorous. Additionally, most certifications programs charge $500 or more for you to enroll.  Finally, certification training can require a lot of traveling to attend childbirths, workshops, and classes.  The entire certification process can take months to complete.

How to Become a Postpartum Doula

The path to becoming a postpartum doula is similar, but somewhat different, from a birth doula. Much as a birth doula, she must enroll and complete the requirements of a certificate granting program.  However, the curriculum is very different as the workshops and classes focus on newborn care, breastfeeding, and strengthening the bond between mother and infant.

Should I Become a Doula or Midwife?

Doulas and midwives serve different roles during a mother’s labor and birth.  Midwives can deliver babies and prescribe some medications.  It is preferable to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare field to become a midwife, while there is no such degree requirement for doulas.  Doulas can serve a client without having a certification; however, midwives must be certified.

Deciding on whether to be a doula or a midwife depends on what type of support you want to be in order to serve your client.  If you want serve a compassionate coach to the mother while providing emotional, physical, and childbirth educational support, then becoming a doula is the right career path for you.