Great news, IDI doulas! The International Doula Institute has been recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health as a designated Doula Certification Organization (DCO). We’re officially official in Minnesota!
It is extremely important to note that doulas are NOT regulated, do not require licensure, and are not medical providers. Nonetheless, this is an important and exciting development in IDI’s growth. Why? It means more hospitals, more states, more global organizations will recognize IDI on your certificate.
Being that all doulas are non-medical and can provide support without being overseen by a government agency, you do not need to worry if your state does not have an official stance. In fact, very few states do.
The reason IDI worked with the Minnesota Department of Health is to help the public. The department of health created their statewide doula registry to aid the public in finding professional doulas. It takes just a bit of leg work away from parents searching for a doula.
In short, Minnesota is simply showing the community it values doula work.
What is the Doula Registry in Minnesota?
It is important to note, again, that there is no licensure required for professional doulas. This registry is simply a public service to Minnesota residents looking for a doula.
“The Minnesota legislature enacted a law effective July 1, 2007, creating the Doula Registry within the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The department verifies that an applicant is certified by one of eight private certifying organizations listed in statute and identifies whether the doula has a criminal history as shown on the web site of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.”
In short, the registry simply helps residents find a certified doula who does not have a criminal history. That said, it is not a requirement for doulas to be certified to work. Nor are doulas required to have no criminal history to serve their community. Every family can make an informed decision about the doula they feel most comfortable working with, regardless of their certification or history.
I’m Not in Minnesota, Does It Matter IDI Recognized?
Yes! Why? During the pandemic, many doulas found themselves struggling to be able to support their clients. By being recognized by a state department of health, it is easier for IDI certified doulas to gain the ability to support clients birthing in hospitals with restricted birthing support policies.
To be added to the registry, IDI needed to provide the department of health with information regarding our training and certification process. Again, there is no overseeing body in doula work, however, by being recognized it shows systems used to overseeing bodies that our process and training is up to par.
Does IDI Believe Doulas Must Certify, Register, Etc.?
At IDI, we strongly believe in professionalism, evidenced-based training, and ongoing education. That said, we also recognize that birth support has existed for millennia, since birth began. We recognize the traditional birth workers who have learned from other traditional birth workers. We do not hope to live in a world where traditional birth workers are excluded.
However, we see a need for training and certification in a world where birth support is often difficult to come by. We recognize that many who want to provide birth support do not have access to simply learn, in-person, from a traditional birth worker.
This makes a doula training program, like IDI, available to help more people have access to birth support. By providing a comprehensive training program, certification, and the ability to join registries, we can support anyone wanting to provide birth support.
In an ideal world, every birthing person desiring birth support would have access to such support. Until we live in an ideal birthing world, IDI will continue to provide comprehensive training and certification.
We recognize that most of us live in spaces which require proof of training, professionalism, etc. This does not discount any traditional providers. Rather, we recognize the space which most of us live and thus value the opportunity to provide an avenue to professional doula development.
So, in short, IDI is recognized as a valid certification organization. As you embark and continue your birth work path, you can be sure you have chosen a top training organization. Not yet an IDI doula? Be sure to register today!