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I want to be a doula, where do I begin?

The combination of trainings and practical experience is what makes a doula, and we do not believe there is any training that can substitute for the hands-on learning you get through attending births.

We have all trained and certified with DONA (Doulas of North America) and we have been extremely happy with the quality of the training and organization. However, we have taken many local and international trainings as well, and have always learned something valuable.

Having a training under your belt makes it more likely you will be able to attend births, helps you connect with other doulas in your community, and gives you a foundation of knowledge upon which you can build your practical experience. Go ahead and take the leap!

Three organizations that train doulas internationally are DONACAPPA, and ALACE. Birth Roots currently offers a DONA approved birth doula training. In addition we also offer a special prenatal class just for aspiring doulas working towards their certification, and advance doula workshops for continuing education. Please keep an eye on our DONA Doula Training section.

In the meantime, read as much as you can. Start with The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, Mothering the Mother by Klaus, Kennel and Klaus, and any other birth, pregnancy or midwifery-related books or videos you can find.

Get in touch with the birthing community in your area and attend any presentations, conferences, or meetings you can. If there aren’t any, organize one. You could also invite a doula in your community out for lunch, or offer your help in sorting through her files or cleaning her office. Offers like these are much more likely to get a response from the doulas in your community, as doulas get “How can I become a doula” calls very often.

For more information, also check out our FAQ About Becoming A Doula below.

Most importantly, stay positive. This isn’t always a quick process, but there’s lots of learning to be done in the waiting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Doula

Below are some of the most common questions we get asked by aspiring doulas.

We have created this page because we are absolutely inundated with emails from aspiring doulas and we simply have trouble keeping up. At the same time, however, we also remember how excited we were as we embarked on this path, and how desperate we were for local information.

We hope this page will answer your questions.

Best wishes!

What kind of training is involved in becoming a doula?

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Typically, folks start with a three day training, such as the one offered by DONA. However, it takes far more than a weekend workshop to actually be a doula; for us, what made the difference was attending births. We all take advantage of almost every educational opportunity that we can, so after a few years you will probably have a very impressive resume of courses and workshops under your belt. Basically, the learning never stops!

Could you please recommend a website or other means of obtaining information in regards to Doula Training?

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Some international doula training and certification programmes we're aware of are: www.dona.org www.alace.org www.icea.org www.birthworks.org www.cappacanada.ca Not all programmes are created equal, nor are all programmes necessarily right for you. As hard as it may be to be discriminating when there are so few options, do be sure that the training you take best suits your needs and philosophy.

Does Birth Roots offer a doula training?

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YES! We currently offer a DONA approved birth doula training. In addition as part of this training we also offer a special prenatal class just for aspiring doulas working towards their certification. We also have a selection of advance doula workshops for continuing education. Is there anything else that is available right now or in the future that I should know about? We strongly suggest signing up for the Childbirth Community Manitoba Listserv, which you can do at:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChildbirthCommunityManitoba/ Most local birth-related events and opportunities are announced on this list. Apart from that, just keep your eyes and ears to the ground. There are many courses and workshops that aren't called "doula education" but that will still help educate you as a doula. Be creative!

When do you know you're ready after all the training?

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Traditionally, you just know. If you think you're ready, please check out some of the Employment Opportunities at Birth Roots.