Becoming a DONA certified doula is easier than most people think. DONA, Doulas of North America, is an internationalrecognized and accredited certification organization that was certified thousands of birth doulas. The process is streamlined so that it can take as few as 6 months to receive your doula certification. The training curriculum teaches you to become a better doula and will focus involve the following requirements:
Become a Member of DONA
The first step to becoming a certified DONA doula is to become a DONA member. Becoming a member allows you to enroll in training workshops and have access to the full training curriculum. Additionally, membership includes the listing of your contact information into the DONA database, so that potential clients can search and find your services.
Attend a Training Workshop
Attendance of a weekend long training program is part of the DONA curriculum. These workshops are taught by certified DONA instructors who have years of experience. The topics covered include learning how to provide emotional comfort during pregnancy and pain management techniques during labor. Additionally, the health benefits of having a doula attend a labor will be discussed. Topics such as how to take care of the newborn during the postpartum period are also covered. Finally, doulas will learn how to run their business by setting up contracts and networking.
Read Training Literature
Reading training books is a critical part of the curriculum. These books can be read at your own pace; however, the reading must be completed before you attend the training workshop. This is for you to familiarize yourself with the common terminology used during pregnancy and childbirth so that you will get the most out of the workshop.
Assist in Childbirths
DONA requires that doulas attend and assist in 3 births. This process involves a doula providing physical and emotional support to 3 of her clients during their labor. The support can come in the form of providing breathing techniques, labor positioning, and companionship during labor. Afterwards, her clients would rate the doulas performance and if they had provided a satisfactory birthing experience. This requirement is a good way for doulas to receive hands on training.
Compile a List of Resources
The last requirement is making a compilation of local resources that new or expectant parents can use in order to supplement the support that is given by a doula. These resources could include genetic counselors, newborn care educators, pediatricians, and financial assistance programs. The purpose of generating this list is twofold: the doula familiarizes her with the services offered within her area of operation; while parents receive a list of resources can be helpful for their situation.