Our workshop run over two or three days depending on the location, usually on a weekend. Once you register you will be sent a confirmation email which will include further information about how to get to the location, parking/public transit, how to dress, what to bring, etc.
You are a doula at the end of the workshop. There are of course other steps to become a CERTIFIED doula, but this workshop will allow you to work as a doula.
The fee for our workshop ranges from $350 to $450+HST (depending on the location). This includes the DONA approved training manual and all snacks for the workshop
Doula Training: Full cancellation available within 24 hours of booking. Refunds are available 30 days or more before workshop start date minus a $40 handling fee. No refunds will be made within 30 days of the workshop, however registrants may apply the fee towards a future workshop held by Discover Birth Inc. Cancellations within one week of class must pay a $50 administration fee to rebook and apply their credit towards another workshop. NO EXCEPTIONS
Breaks will occur in the AM and PM for 15 minutes and about an hour over the lunch hour. You may use these times to meet with your family, to nurse a baby, etc. Quiet babies in arms (usually under 3-4 months old) are welcome to be with you during the workshop, but we ask that you excuse yourself if baby is making noise (happy or otherwise). Childcare is not provided and older babies are not permitted in order to allow for an ideal learning environment for all participants.
Because much of your program is self-study, the amount of time it takes you to become a doula can vary from a short few months to a couple of years. We’ve seen our trainees do it in as few as four months. The page about “Certification” is a guideline timeline for you to review along with costs to give you an idea of the whole process.
We get asked this question all the time, but it’s a tough question for us to answer!!
Working as a doula has a lot of ups and downs, like any career. But here are some of the things you might want to consider as you’re deciding if this is the right path for you:
Do you love to support women and families in their OWN choices and decisions?
How much money do you want/need to make from being a doula?
Can you handle working on-call?
Do you work well with others and can you see yourself working alongside a variety of other medical professionals?
What is your motivation for wanting to become a doula?
What are your long-term plans in the field?
Working as a doula can be the most amazing experience and is such an honour to be a part of. If you are thinking this is the right path for you then we encourage you to come to our workshop! If you feel passionate about helping women and families then this could be your next dream job!
Many people become doulas to get a taste of the birthing field before committing to becoming a midwife or applying into the midwife program. It’s also a great way to boost your resume if you’re sure you’re going to be applying to a midwifery school. Many of Discover Birth’s trainees are in the Midwifery Program right now!!
This varies in each area, but there are generally three main ways to work as a doula:
Work on your own by running your own private practice
Join a team of doulas who work together to support one another with marketing and advertising
Work for an agency that takes a commission on any work you do, but frees you up from having to do any marketing
Like anything in life, the amount of effort you put out is the amount of benefit you’ll get in return. We’ve seen doulas make anywhere from $0 (those who want only to work as volunteers) to $80,000 a year.
Our Doula Training weekend will be focused on your role as a doula. We won’t cover a lot about the normal process of labour, stages of labour, medications and their benefits and risks, etc. We expect that you will already have this basic information. Our training can then focus on YOUR new doula role in relation to these topics. If you have already done a class in the past for your own birth or have had children yourself, you may find that you already possess this basic knowledge of childbirth. In this case, it’s acceptable for you to not do a class before the workshop. But note you will still be required to redo these classes in order to become a certified doula. It is still part of the certification process and you will NOT be exempt from this even with a lot of experience or having done prenatal classes for your own birth in the past. If you are either a labor and delivery nurse or you have completed training as a childbirth educator through one of our approved organizations, you can supply a certificate of completion or a letter verifying your nursing experience to meet this requirement.
DONA used to have specific requirements about the type of class that qualified for certification. But due to the fact that our doulas reach far and wide across the world, it was becoming impossible for a lot of candidates to find the type of class that fit those requirements. Therefore as of Jan 2105 they have readjusted this requirement. They recommend that you attend as thorough a class as you can find, but there are no longer restrictions on the number of hours or certification the educator must possess. Please make sure your class covers normal labour, comfort measures, medications, interventions, baby care and breastfeeding.
Try contacting ALL hospitals, birthing centers, health clinics, etc. that offer childbirth education classes to find out if the class is taught by an educator who is certified through one of the approved organizations.
The Yellow Pages may also have listings for area childbirth educators or childbirth education courses.
You can also search the Internet for the names of each organization. These web sites offer you links to “find an educator” in your state. You could also do an Internet search in the following format for direct links – (example “Lamaze Toronto”).
Try contacting other doulas, midwives or other professionals in related fields in your area to find resources for childbirth classes.
There is an Introductory Course for Doulas (Intro) being offered by the trainer in conjunction with my DONA approved birth doula workshop. Will this complete my CBE component for certification?
Yes, if an Intro is offered in conjunction with your workshop, your attendance and completion of this course fulfills the CBE requirement for certification. However, most doula trainers will only provide this in areas that don’t have qualifying classes, since it’s preferable to do it while observing actual class participants who are pregnant, to learn from their questions and discussions
In order for you to become certified with DONA International, you must read DONA International’s Birth Doula Position Paper and at least five of the following books from the DONA International Birth Doula Reading List. A Statement of Completion form is included in the Certification Packet. You may find some of these at your local library to save on costs. Some will likely need to be purchased, but will also help to build a lending library for your future clients.
DONA International’s Position Paper: The Birth Doula’s Contribution to Modern Maternity Care, 2006 (provided to you at your Doula Training)
The following two books:
Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, The Doula Book, 2nd edition, 2002
Simkin, The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions, 3rd edition, 2008
At least one of the following:
Kitzinger, The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, 4th edition, 2004
Simkin, Whalley & Keppler, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide, revised, 2001
Douglas, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: the Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between, 2002 (U.S. or Canadian version)
Whalley, Simkin & Keppler, The Simple Guide to Having a Baby (simple English version), 2005
At least one of the following:
Harper, Gentle Birth Choices: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions about Birthing Centers, Birth Attendants, Water Birth, Home Birth, Hospital Birth, revised 2005
Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, 2004
Peterson, An Easier Childbirth: A Mother’s Guide for Birthing Normally, 1993
Goer, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, 1999
At least one of the following:
Mohrbacher, Stock & Newton, The Breastfeeding Answer Book, 3rd edition
Mohrbacher & Kendall-Tackett, Breastfeeding Made Simple, 2005 (Available in the U.S. and Canada)
Newman & Pitman, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, 2000 (Available in the U.S.)
Newman & Pitman, Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, 2000 (Available in Canada)
Huggins & Lawrence, The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 5th edition, 2005