"Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart."
~ Unknown

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Doula Training: Did you know?

Looking for a doula?  Did you know there are several organizations that train doulas in North America and the world? There are a variety of types of birth doula training to suit both the potential doula's interests and that of the expectant parents.  Some doulas apply for certification within months after taking a doula training while others may take a few years and still others do not choose to certify.  Doulas should continuously be studying up-to-date information on pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum issues. Her training should also include a breastfeeding component.  Parents need to ask whether a potential doula has received formal training, what her training has entailed, and how much experience she has.

Below is a list of many organizations that train doulas:

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the above organizations to know what a potential doula's training should have included as well as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of her training organization.  Best wishes!  


  1. Michelle,

    Great Blog! FYI...in Israel, Binah Baby is the only live training course for Antepartum and Postpartum Doulas. The courses are taught in English.


  2. Thank you, Shoshana! I've added the link above!

  3. I think another key point Michelle is that parents need to look at the reputation of the organizations... some have been around for a long time, some not so long. some have much harder, more strick requirements for certification that others.

    I agree that a birth doula should have training in breastfeeding. Local La Leche League groups would be a good place to gather a knowledge base, but you need "hands on" experience with breastfeeding too! :)


  4. Yes, looking at the reputation of organization is important. But I don't think that parents should solely look at the time that they have been around. Every organization had to start from somewhere and if no one had faith in them they wouldn't be what they are today. Giving the smaller organizations that have a good code of conduct and standard of practice, the organizations who are working hard to stand behind their doula`s and to help solve any conflicts is also important.

    It is important for expectant parents and women looking into becoming a birth doula (and related fields of work) to know that just because one organization is dominate in their area, that organization is not the be all and end all of training and knowledge in the doula area.

    Certification is up to the individual. It is a personal decision and deciding to not certify does not make someone a bad doula or a less qualified doula than a 'certified' doula. Parents have to look at the experience of said doula, the connections they have within the community and also the relationship and reputation she had made for herself and who she associates herself with.

    Having certification does not mean the same thing as graduating with a PhD from the U of A or U of C. In some cases it is a one time certification, in some cases it is something that the doula has to keep on top of. Just because someone chooses not to align themselves with a organization does not make them better.

    It is quality vs quantity in my opinion.

    The doula`s in each community need to work together to create a environment that allows mothers and parents to decided on a doula that fits their personality and with whom they are comfortable with. In the end it is really the mothers and babes that suffer if one organization or certification is pushed to hard, so that there are limited choices.

    I believes DONA`s motto is: A Doula For Every Woman. Wise words to live by.


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