What does DONA require for Birth Doula Certification?
Here’s the skinny answer DONA Certification Info-Graphic
For more details, scroll down to the bottom of DONA’s certification information page.
Do I need to be certified to be a doula?
No. Increasingly certification is becoming more necessary. As states look to medicaid coverage for doulas, they are requiring certification. Hospitals and parents appreciate the accountability that certification entails. In a national survey, doulas who are certified are paid at a higher rate.
Where can I stay nearby the Santa Rosa workshop?
The address for the workshop is on Monroe Street, Santa Rosa, 95404 – it is downtown Santa Rosa’s McDonald Historic District. Many people have liked using Air B&B www.airbnb.com to find a room to stay in locally. My neighbor privately rents her guest unit, that has a queen sized bed suitable for 1-2 people. Tell me the nights and number of people and I can ask her if her place is available. There are lots of beautiful options in zip 95404.
Nearby hotels are the Sandman, Extended Stay America, Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Hotel LaRose, The Flamingo and the Hillside Inn. This is wine country and it fills up fast. You could search for price reductions on www.expedia.com, www.kayak.com, www.hotels.com and www.getaroom.com
Is the doula the same as a nurse?
Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff. Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care. They are there to comfort and support the laboring person and to enhance communication between those in labor and medical professionals. A doula can remind you of questions you want to ask. Nurses may need to take breaks or change shifts. A doula provides continuous support.
How can I be available all the time?
You probably can’t. That’s why most doulas make arrangements with a back-up doula to cover them when they are not available. You would inform your client of this in advance. If you can’t arrange back-up, you would let your client know of the times that you would not be available and decide together how she would want this handled. Some doulas work with an on-call group of doulas who take turns covering different days of the week. They provide their clients with this schedule. There are a few doulas who work for a hospital-based program and are on-call on certain days.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. Call or email me so we can plan one out.
Should I quit my day job?
Probably not. Most doulas start out with just a few clients in their first year. They allow back-up to cover them when they are not available.
How will I find clients?
At the end of the workshop I will provide a list of volunteer opportunities in Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco area. For those coming from other places, I will do my best to help you connect with others in your area. For your own purposes, identify people in your community who have access to pregnant women. Doctor and midwifery offices, pregnancy counseling services, prisons and teen groups may be interested in spreading the word about your services. You can also publicize your services by posting flyers or speaking at bookstores, moms’ groups and childbirth classes.
Should I print business cards?
Yes, but not too many. You may want to change something on them.
What do doulas get paid?
It varies. There are doulas who charge $600 a birth (usually when they are newer) and those who charge $2200 a birth. It is dependent on your level of experience, the area you live in, and your desire to keep labor support financially accessible weighed against your family’s need for income. Most doulas who are starting out offer their services on a voluntary basis or at a low cost – perhaps just enough to cover transportation and childcare.
What books and links do you suggest?
- The Doula Book by Kennell and Klaus
- The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin, 5th edition – a must for the workshop
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin
- www.childbirthconnection.org This site is full of up to date, evidenced based information about pregnancy and childbirth.
- www.motherfriendly.org Promoting a wellness model to improve birth outcomes and reduce costs, this group has over 90,000 members.
- www.lamazeinternational.org Many people don’t realize that Lamaze is no longer about the “strange” breathing. Normal birth is the name of the game!
- www.DONA.org Info on certification.
What is a birth doula?
A caring person who:
- Recognizes birth is a key life experience, understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor
- Assists a expectant family in preparing for and carrying out their plans for their child’s birth
- Stays by the side of the laboring person throughout the entire labor (no change of shift)
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective point of view and assists in gathering information to aid decision making
- Acts as a liaison between the laboring person, partner and clinical care providers
- Does not replace the partner or clinical care provider
Who relies on a doula?
Childbearing people and couples, midwives, doctors and labor and delivery nurses appreciate the resources, techniques, knowledge and continuous empathetic support a doula provides. For those laboring without partners, the labor support person may be the only source of focused, continuous emotional support throughout the labor and birth of the baby.
Historically, women have relied on many different people to provide this kind of support — mothers, partners, friends, midwives, nurses and childbirth educators. Recent studies indicate better outcomes for babies and the birthing person, shorter, more comfortable labors, fewer complications, and greater maternal satisfaction when a labor support person is continuously present.
The doula’s nurturing patience, expertise and commitment to childbearing person and their partners can help families to have safe and satisfying birth experiences.