As a professional doula, it’s important you stay up to date with current evidence, recommendations, and more. Continuing education for doulas is vital for properly supporting families. To be a valuable resource to the community, you should always be learning.
Where do doulas go to keep learning? Fortunately, there are many options for continuing education as a doula. At the International Doula Institute, we are always a resource for learning more. From blogs to additional certifications, we offer a lot of options.
In this blog, we will help you understand the many places you can go to continue learning as a professional doula.
#1: Seek Additional Certifications
As a doula, you can hold a single certification and seek continuing education in a variety of ways. However, you also have the option to continue learning through additional certifications. With additional trainings, you expand the number of services you can provide families.
Most of all, doing additional certifications shows your clients which specific areas you’ve learned more. Additional certifications offered by the International Doula Institute include:
- Postpartum doula certification
- Childbirth educator certification
- Certified Breastfeeding Counselor
- Advanced Lactation Certification
- Perinatal Nutrition Educator
Completing these additional certifications provide up to date continuing education. Also, they let the community know you value learning and proof of proficiency in each area of study.
To learn more or register for these classes be sure to check out our registration information.
#2: Local Expert Trainings
There are likely many experienced professionals near you. Such as. doulas, midwives, obstetricians, physical therapists, and more . Many of whom offer workshops and trainings for birth professionals. In fact, many of these trainings include CEUs, and other certifications for a wide variety of professionals.
Also, learning from people in different roles within maternity care is an excellent way to become a well-rounded doula. While you will not use the exact same skills as a midwife or physical therapist, you can use the information learned to better educate and support your clients.
For example, as a doula and childbirth educator I have taken Birth Emergency Skills trainings. I am not a clinical professional and will not be practicing the skills in my work. However, by taking the training and even practicing hands on with their models, I have better understanding to explain these scenarios to clients. I learn more about how I can support clients when they face unexpected complications during birth.
#3: Online Birth Related Webinars, Workshops, etc.
We know life can be busy. However, many birth professionals offer webinars and online workshops to learn more about specific areas of maternity care. Best of all, they range from diversity and inclusion to trauma informed care, and more, there are webinars and workshops for many topics.
The advantage to this type of learning is many are flexible. In fact, no matter how hectic your personal and professional schedule can be, there’s a good chance you can find a webinar or workshop to fit your schedule.
#4: Reading Books, Medical Studies, and More
There’s a place for self-education in doula work. Reading books by maternity care professionals is an excellent way to continue your education in birth work. Also, you can learn more by watching for new medical studies being published on topics related to maternity care, lactation, and early infant development.
It’s important that you vet any resources you use. Also, ensure the author is qualified. Understand who is funding the research. Be sure there’s distinct descriptions on fact versus opinion.
Having a good up-to-date reading list is a great way to continue learning.
#5: Birth Related Conferences
One of the best ways to gain continuing education for doulas is through birth related conferences. Conferences often have a variety of speakers with different backgrounds coming together for a day or several days.
in fact, you can typically learn a lot. Most importantly, without having to seek out a variety of opportunities. Also, you can make the most of these conferences by attending workshops on topics you are not as familiar with.
Of course, conferences can be challenging to schedule sometimes. However, keep an eye for virtual conferences if you find it difficult to attend in-person conferences. Access to many professionals in one location is an excellent way to really round out your continuing education.
Most importantly, always be open to learning more. Doulas are professionals. Like other professionals, you provide the best service when you continue to expand your knowledge.