Currently I am in the midst of my recertification process. The Doula Association of North America, DONA, is the organization through which I am certified. This organization has recently received international status in that it is reaching numerous nations world wide with services and education beginning here in the US.
So why is it important for you to look for a certified doula when you find you want help with your newborn? There are many night nurses, nannies, and non-certified doulas out there. Why does it benefit you and your baby to search out doulas who have studied, trained, and are accountable to certification?
My original training through DONA was an eighteen month process. It required nearly 30 hours of face to face education and training with an experienced professional postpartum doula. I was trained with thirty other women over a three day period. They were long days, but we jelled. Our desire to be the very best doulas we could be caused us to grow together in our training. Not all of us completed the certification process. It is rigorous.
After our in-class training we were required to complete a reading list compiled of ten different areas of education in doula services. Reports were written on each of the books read. We had to receive written assessments from three different families served through our work. We each were required to receive an evaluation from a Pediatrician with whom we worked in addition to a referral from an experienced certified doula.
As we continue to work under DONA’s leadership we are required to maintain records, submit confidentiality agreements from each of our clients, and keep our training up to date. Every three years we must provide documentation that we have completed educational classes, served in the community, and promoted our industry.
How does all this benefit you, as a client? Locally, most of the the doula agencies you find on line charge the same hourly fee for all the doulas in their registry. In general, they do not discern between the doulas who take the extra time to advance their skill set and those who do not. For your needs, having a doula who is active in keeping her training current, connected with the community of doulas in your area, and accountable to an overseeing agency is a plus. It insures you will be served at the highest standards. DONA doulas are encouraged to carry business insurance, keep their CPR/First Aid certifications current, and maintain their own inoculations. All of these are plusses for you.
If you have questions about my training or certification standards, please do not hesitate to ask. I am excited to share with you the new information I am learning. In addition, my desire is to offer you the highest quality in infant care. I keep my training current in order to serve you in the very best ways possible.