INSPIRED BY STERLING ARCHER: HOW TO BECOME A DOULA
"I got certified as a doula. Which, it turns out, is not that hard." Is he right?
- •Doula literally means “a woman who serves,” and doulas have been support givers for centuries. A doula offers support to mothers before, during and after they give birth.
- •Decide which type of doula you want to be.The most common type of doula is the birth doula. The birth Doula's goal is to support a mother and her family throughout the birth process. This includes giving emotional encouragement, teaching about birth, giving massage and physical support during labor, and coaching breathing techniques and labor positions. Birth doulas typically visit their families 1-2 times before and after birth. Other varieties include: Antepartum doula. Postpartum doula. Adoption doula. Miscarriage/loss doula.
- •Consider getting formal doula training.While it's not mandatory to be formally trained as a doula, this step is important for building your skills as a doula, and for giving you a solid base to work from. In a training program, you'll learn more about the intricacies of childbirth and will supplement your knowledge with videos and readings. You will also learn about labor support, finding clients, and even how to start your own business. Look for legitimate organizations in your area and commit to working with other inspired doulas.
- •Consider getting certified.Though certification isn't necessary, it does help you gain knowledge and move forward in your career. One of the reasons doulas are criticized is because of their lack of formal or medical training, and being certified will help you dispel some of these myths. Though training can be enough and you may also find an apprenticeship or mentorship program, you should consider getting certified through a program such as DONA International.
- •Getting certified does take a good amount of time!To become certified, you need to: Choose a Doula Organization that is right for you, become a member, attend a workshop, purchase a certificate packet, fulfill the requirements of the organization, submit proof of completion of the requirements of your program, and provide Doula service for the required number of clients, and mail in your documents to get your certification!
- •For more information on certification and working as a Doula: www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Doula