After my last post about my journey to becoming a doula, I received an e-mail from someone asking just how one starts the process. Rather than reply to her e-mail, I decided to write up a quick post to answer the question.
You do not have to be certified to be a doula. This means that you could attend a birth with someone, acting as their doula having absolutely no training. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Most doulas, however, go through a formal training process. There are many programs out there offered by various agencies. I went with CAPPA because after researching my options, it was obvious to me that they have a wonderful community of amazing doula women that I can reach out to for support and companionship. CAPPA also offers other training programs such as childbirth educator, lactation educator, and more.
Regardless of the program you choose, most require the following to become certified:
- Completion of a required reading list that consists of around 5 books related to birth, breastfeeding, and doula work.
- Attendance at an in-person training session taught by someone certified in training doulas. Click here to see a list of upcoming CAPPA training sessions near you.
- Attendance at a breastfeeding course (sometimes these can be done online)
- Attendance at a childbirth education course (sometimes these can be done online, too).
- Attendance at three different births where you act as the doula. At these births you must receive positive evaluations from your client and two of the care providers (nurse, midwife, OB, midwivery assistant, etc).
- Completion of an online, open book examination with multiple choice and essay questions.
- Current membership with your certifying program.
Most programs cost about $1000 in total to get certified and take between one and two years. You can get them done quicker, depending on how determined you are and the availability of the various training programs/education classes near you. Each certification program has different requirements, but this seems to be the overall basis. The great thing about training to become a doula is that you can work at your own pace.
Other doula certification programs include Dona, To Labor, and Birth Arts International, but there are many more out there – just do a google search to read about them. You’ll be able to figure out which one seems like the best fit for you.
Do you have more questions about becoming a doula? Feel free to leave them below!April 1, 2013
This entry was posted in Birth, Doula. Bookmark the permalink.