Becoming a Doula | Rochester, NY

When I committed to serving as a doula, I did what I always do - research, research, and research some more. I found a lot of information and opinions to sort through about training and expectations of what a doula should be. Overwhelming would be an understatement.

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Seeking training and certification is a huge commitment of both time and money, so I had to be sure I was making the right choice. After initially leaning toward a popular certification agency because it seemed to be the gold standard locally, I was feeling disconnected once I dove in. Listening to my gut, I switched directions and chose two different agencies to train with. While certification isn't necessary, it is a personal goal of mine. 

I am currently training with Childbirth International (CBI) for my postpartum certification. After looking through their curriculum I felt that it would provide me with the structured foundation of coursework that I was looking for and learn best from. The coursework is focused heavily on listening and communication, to understanding bias and working without an agenda - things that I feel are the most important skills of a doula. I appreciated that I could start this training right away and didn't need to wait for a training opportunity to come to town. With a babe in womb my travel options are limited. I wanted to get started right away and I have learned a thing or two about setting personal boundaries and goals since having Wren. This training just fit.

Knowing that I would learn hands-on skills and knowledge over time and through continued education, the final reason I decided to train through CBI is their lifetime certification. Having to re-certify every few years and pay membership fees really turned me off from other training agencies. Parents are smart. They know what they need and want. Whether that is an un-certified or certified doula, or a doula who has trained with specific agencies, well, that is up to them. I hope that my work will speak for itself.

I'll also be completing birth doula training with Carriage House Birth (NYC) in November, but without experiencing it first hand, I'll wait to dive into more detail about it. I align with their philosophies and I know that I'll learn so much from their training and certification path.

The most important thing I learned throughout my research is that reasons for choosing doula work are both personal and unique. I'm sure the answer to "why I doula" will grow and change over time as I gain more experience, but right now I'm excited to be a support line for parents and show up to hold space for them during this sacred time in life.

Some resources that helped me on my path of decision:

The Radical Doula + The Radical Doula Guide
Facebook Group: Becoming a Doula  *disclamer, this is hosted by CBI though information is shared freely by members of many certifying agencies and doula paths
Doula Match