Birth Doula Training &Careers
Birth Doula Training
Have you wanted to follow your passion for doula work? Do you want to explore what it is like to be a birth doula?
We'd love to be part of your journey!
What do birth doulas do?
A birth doula is a well- trained professional who provides non-medical support to women and their partners in the childbearing year. From prenatal contact and visits, through the labor and birth, birth doulas provide unbiased information, ethical physical and emotional support, and advocacy for women and their partners during pregnancy, labor birth and the immediate postpartum period. We work as an adjunct to health care providers, and do not provide clinical tasks, but can help interpret the medical information a client is receiving to help her to make her own best choices. We are her constant, a grounding and empowering force for her to count on to be there for her, in the ways that she needs.
It sounds amazing - is there a downside?
As with any career, doula work can have its challenges. Being in service to women during this special time in their lives means a commitment that goes beyond 9-5! She may need us at any time, with questions, concerns, and as her support, we have to be available for her. Labor and birth are so imprecise - we never know when a client's labor may start, how long it will last, or the twists and turns it may take along the way. We may miss holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, theater tickets - and sleep! The unpredictability of the work can be difficult at home too. We need a great support system, and if you have children, stellar childcare (and back up childcare) are musts! You may find that the people around don't always understand your reality, getting up at 3 am for a birth and being gone for a day can strain that understanding - and there may be times when you don't love it either! The good news is that Birth Partners has been doing this for a very long time, and we can share our resources, tips and suggestions for making it work for you and your family!
Despite the challenges, this also means this work is exciting, new and different. We are always learning and we take what we learn from each birth and take it to the next! We who like structure, learn to "plan to be spontaneous", to plan and have a back up plan - "just in case". We are positive and upbeat with our families, so that they too are excited about us going to a birth - even if - and especially if! - it means celebrating birthdays or holidays twice! It gives us flexibility in our day to day lives - flexibility to work from home most days, contributing to our family's income, or even having another job (as long as it allows flexibility for attending births when they arise)!
It is an incredible honor to be included to be a part of such a special time in someone's life, to help a new life to come into the world, to help a woman and her partner transition to parenthood. When we are truly called to do this "heart-work", the fulfillment we get from the level of care we give is almost indescribable, but we can tell you it is a gift to serve in this way.
Do I need a license or certification to work as a birth doula?
Though certification is not a requirement, we do believe that the highest level of training does make a difference in the support you offer clients which is why we have offered training here, at Birth Partners, for more than 20 years. Doula certification on a national level is also available from doula training programs and childbirth education organizations, such as DONA International, ToLabor or Birth Arts International, but at Birth Partners, you get the benefit of more than 29 years of hands on experience, working with clients, providers, and birth places, here, in Connecticut.
Why Birth Partners training?
Birth Partners has offered an advanced, professional doula training for more than 20 years, offering the advantage of trainers with thousands of birth experiences right here in Connecticut, an understanding of the local birth climate and protocols, one on one mentoring, shadowing opportunities, and a team of doulas who support one another as we work with clients at the highest level.
While we continue to offer the advanced doula training for those who will be working with Birth Partners clients, we are happy to partner with a doula trainer to facilitate the prerequisite basic doula training. At the end of that first cohort of training, you may be invited to participate in the advanced course, with the goal of serving clients through Birth Partners. Working with Birth Partners clients gives you built in support from the company and your sister doulas, and the advantage of our stellar reputation in the birth community, and among care providers! You are supplied and matched with clients based on your availability and their needs, and while our standards are high, we believe our clients deserve the best!
Two tiers of training, depending on your goals as a doula:
Phase One Birth Doula training:
This phase of training is independent of Birth Partners, designed to explore, discuss and learn about the work of birth doulas. The emphasis is on relationship building through effective communication in order to support birthing people and their families and is recommended for individuals who have a strong interest in doula work but have had very little to no formal training, or for folks who would like to strengthen their communication skills to support birthing people. Throughout the training, participants will have an opportunity to participate through various learning techniques, including brainstorming, role plays and online guided learning. Learn the important basics of doula work, including the value of the work for you - and of course, for your clients. Build a foundation of skills you will use in this important work we do including:
What is a birth doula?
Scope of practice
Code of ethics for doulas
Effective communication for a support person
Group practice and role play
What is support?
Phase Two Birth Doula training:
This phase is an advanced professional level of doula training, and enrollment is based on the skills, motivation, professionalism, and commitment of the candidate, with the goal of serving clients through Birth Partners*
Facilitated by Janet Padgett, founder and president of Birth Partners, the advanced phase of training focuses on those qualities that set the bar higher, including building on the basic training, growing your physical doula skills, respect for the work as a doula in general, and Birth Partners specifically and balancing the lifestyle of doula work with self care and home life.
Comprehensive, advance-knowledge workshops, building on what you have learned during the first cohort
Advanced understanding of the physical and emotional stages of pregnancy, labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period
Practical hands- on techniques of doula work
Methods of providing support that "goes above and beyond", meeting or exceeding the highest professional standards
The value of working with a team
All along the way, we are here to support you as you begin to emerge as not just a doula… but a doula serving Birth Partners clients!
* Phase one doula training is required but does not guarantee admission to the advanced cohort