What makes your Birth Doula Training different than other DONA International trainings?
All DONA International Birth Doula Trainings should use the same manual, it was updated again for 2016. I believe my curriculum reflects a balanced perspective of the vast birth choices possible, i.e. Home, Birth Center and Hospital Births. We work on critical thinking skills as they relate to positioning, emotional needs, interventions, etc. Problem solving in a classroom environment makes for a smoother transition in the birth environment. I like to keep class size small (4-12) participants to allow for a greater comfort level in questioning and interactions. I give a copy of Penny Simkin's book "The Birth Partner" to each participant as the updated manual reflects this book.
I also offer an additional add-on day which includes the Childbirth for Doulas class and the Breastfeeding for Doulas class. These will fulfill two of DONA International's certification criteria. Since they are in conjunction with my birth doula training and I am a doula trainer, you can check off these requirements in one day and in less time than on your own. Plus they are a perfect way to focus on the upcoming training. And by taking both you receive a price break and are two steps closer to certification!
Our workshop is held in private space with a kitchen and living area perfect for nursing and pumping moms. I display an extensive library of books and journals for you to look through. Around the corner we can break for the lunch together (or you are welcome to bring your own!). I provide a varied continental breakfast each day as well as an assortment of all day snacks. Coffee, Juice, Tea, Hot Chocolate is provided. I strive to make a comfortable environment to share my thirteen years of experience. So far, to date, I have welcomed 402 babies into the world! I share my wide array of experiences including, but not limited to: podromal labors, precipitous labors, preterm, planned and unplanned cesareans, forceps, vacuum, surrogacy, VBAC, VBA2C, twins, loss of spouse, still birth, known and unknown birth defects, healthy births after losses, pre-eclampsia, PIH, HELLP, placental abruptions, anesthesia complications, cord prolapse, postpartum hemorrhage, epidurals, non-medicated, home, birth center and hospital births, as well has hundreds of straight forward, healthy births! I have taught childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care to over 10,000 students. I routinely change my activities and adjust as needed to accommodate the interest of my class. No two classes are ever alike. And I love my job! No, I mean it. I really love my job!
Can I call myself a doula after the training?
Absolutely! You are Birth Doula! You may work as a birth doula at home, birth centers or hospitals. You can tell your clients you are working toward certification. I would be more than happy to be your reference while you are getting started. I will explain everything we cover in training and why a newer doula would be a great investment. And I believe new doulas should charge for their services (but it is your business and you can do whatever works for you and your family!) You will meet others in your training who you can partner with to provide back up services for each other.
I love everything about birth! But I am not sure I want to (or can) do this full time yet. Should I still take the training?
This training will give you a great foundation in birth and labor support. Some will begin working to create a full time doula business, some will do a birth a month, some will do a birth a year, some want the knowledge to use in their own births, others will help family and friends make educated decisions and some will use this training as a stepping stone into a midwifery or nursing program. Your training is valid for four years so you could actively work anytime in those four years towards certification. And your certification packet is good for two years from purchase (and can be extended if needed.) ***DO NOT PURCHASE THE CERTIFICATION PACKET UNTIL YOU HAVE A CLIENT DUE SOON***
How will I build a client base after the training?
In the training we will discuss all things marketing. We will discuss ways to find clients and network. I will share some tried and true methods and connect you with local resources. We will discuss creating a business, preparing your contracts and paperwork, interviewing do's and don'ts and how to seal the deal over the phone. It takes a little while to grow your business but it will be worth it! You will have continued trainer support for as long as needed (included in training fee). We have an active Facebook page to provide immediate feedback from me, other trainees and more experienced doulas. We will work on developing your "Doula Voice" through your website/Blogspot/Facebook Page. The work you do to develop your site will allow your voice to come forward, attracting the clients you want to work with. You voice will allow you to not be another generic doula with stock questions. You can run a business; work for yourself, around your family's schedule and earn money! There is no magic way to get clients, if you have a consistent voice, true to you, it will come. It always does. And we are here to suppot you along the way! I have a high success rate of those who are actively working their business and consistently increasing clients.
I am so excited I signed up for training but what can I do until then?
I recommend you just start reading from the required reading list. Remember, you will get a copy of The Birth Partner from me! And if you are really antsy to start doula-ing you could begin looking at setting up a website/blog site for your new business. You will receive more tips and ideas at training but it would give you a leg up. Search other's business sites and see what you like and don't like, make some notes and find a site that represents you.
REQUIRED READING FOR CERTIFICATION / Beneficial Reading in Preparation for Workshop Attendance:
DONA International’s Position Paper: The Birth Doula’s Contribution to Modern Maternity Care by DONA
International (2012, or later)
·DONA International’s Position Paper: The Postpartum Doula’s Role in Modern Maternity Care by DONA
International (2008, or later)
·The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions by Penny
Simkin (2013, or later)
Group 1 - Read at least ONE of the following:
The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help you Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by
Marshall and Phyllis Klaus (2012, or later)
·Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America by Christine H.
Morton with Elaine G. Clift (2014, or later)
Group 2 - Read at least ONE of the following:
·The New Pregnancy & Childbirth: Choices and Challenges by Sheila Kitzinger (2011, or later)
·Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, April Bolding, Ann Keppler, and
Janelle Durham (2010, or later)
·The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: an All-Canadian Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between by
Ann Douglas (2012, or later)
·The Simple Guide to Having a Baby: a Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Janet
Whalley, Penny Simkin and Ann Keppler (2012, or later)
Group 3 - Read at least ONE of the following:
· Optimal Care in Childbirth: the Case for a Physiologic Approach by Henci Goer and Amy Romano (2012, or
· An Easier Childbirth: a Mother’s Guide to Birthing Normally by Gayle Peterson (2008, or later)
· Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (2008, or later)
· Natural Hospital Birth: the Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel (2011, or later)
DONA International • www.dona.org • dona@DONA.org • Chicago, IL USA
Group 4 - Read at least ONE of the following:
• Breastfeeding Made Simple: 7 Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen
Kendall-Tackett, (2010, or later)
• Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding: the Canadian Expert Offers the Most Up-to-Date Advice on
Every Aspect of Breastfeeding by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman (2015, or later)
• The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman (2010, or later)
• The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins (2015, or later)
Group 5 - Read at least ONE of the following:
• This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis
Raskin (2013, or later)
• The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (2005, or later)
• Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth by Walker Karraa
(2014, or later)
• Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-Help Guide by Pacific Postpartum Support (2014, or later)
Group 6 - Read at least ONE of the following:
• The Doula Business Guide: Creating a Successful Mother Baby Business by Patty Brennan (2014, or later)
• Doula Programs: How to Start and Run a Private or Hospital-Based Program with Success! by Paulina
Perez with Deaun Thelen (2010, or later)
• The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need by Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox (2014, or later)
• Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful
Proposals by Tori O’Neal-McElrath (2013, or later)
• You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford (2011, or later)
• Worth Every Penny: Build a Business That Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth by
Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck (2012, or later)
• Body of Work: Finding The Thread That Binds Your Story Together by Pamela Slim (2013, or later)
How can I learn and remember everything in three days?
You can not! I promise the things that you need to know you will remember. Everything else will have a familiar feel to it. Remember, the most important thing for a doula is a warm heart, a hand to hold, kind words, a sip of water and a smile. You will take home the DONA International Birth Doula Manual, a copy of my presentation, your notes and The Birth Partner book. I send out newsletters and we have a closed Facebook page for all new doulas. I will also send notice of any area conferences and trainings, as well as any of my advanced doula trainings. You will connect with your fellow classmates for support and back up. And the perk to having a doula for an instructor? My phone is always on! I am available for last minute pep talks before an interview, to answer any questions that may arise, to give ideas for a tough labor and with any other concerns you may have. Even after 400+ babies I am still learning at each birth and challenging myself with new information. This is the beauty of birth. We do not have to know it all!