For many new doulas, the idea of supporting other women before, during, and after childbirth is the dream job they didn’t know existed. Most women wanting to become a doula seek out reputable doula training on how to become the best doula they can be, through an ideological commitment to helping other mothers have a wonderful birthing experience that is shaped by their own birthing experiences (either wonderful or terrible).
While there is not a licensing agency for doulas, and no formal requirements to meet before calling oneself a doula, many choose to seek out a certificate program by organization, such as the International Doula Institute, that oversee training programs. These programs prepare new doulas to be the best emotional support available for new mothers.
Through doula training, an individual learns that their non-medical role is what makes them different from other maternity care providers. A doula’s main focus is on the expectant mother’s emotional and physical comfort during labor and delivery. A doula can commit all of their attention continuously to one woman, in contrast to the several different demands placed on a nurse, midwife or physician. Doulas’ continuous presence throughout labor and delivery can help the laboring mother to relax and be comfortable knowing that their doula is going to be by their side through the entire process.
Throughout most doula training programs, doulas learn about typical pain medications that are used in labor, along with other useful information that they review with the expectant mother to help them make an informed decision regarding their labor and delivery. A basic understanding of anatomy and physiology of childbirth is encouraged to help the doula understand how to help labor progress in situations where the baby is not in an optimal position, and to familiarize themselves with situations where medical intervention is required.
Ultimately, through the support and discussion with her doula, an expectant mother has all of the information that she needs to make the best-informed decision for herself and her child. Doulas are trained to fully support mothers in all decisions that they make, while not advocating their own beliefs.
Throughout their training of how to be a doula, trainees learn that a powerful and positive way to interact with the expectant mother through childbirth is to highlight the normalcy of labor, making labor appear to be an exciting and positive experience, instead of a scary and negative experience. While having a doula during labor and delivery has many positive advantages over not having a doula, becoming a doula requires a compassionate woman who is committed to helping other women have a positive birthing experience.
To get started on your doula training, and embark on your rewarding career, check out the training offered from International Doula Institute. With our training, you’ll be prepared to provide attentive and compassionate assistance for your clients during childbirth.