One of the questions we get a lot is “How do I become a certified doula?” So I decide to outline some possible steps you can take to become a doula:
1. First, find and take doula training. Training itself usually takes on average three days. Choosing an organization to train with can be tricky. There are some many different ones these days. From my personal experience, it’s good to go with a hands on class somewhere locally. I find particularly important the classes that have plenty of practical training and mentorship on things like how to find clients, how to conduct your first phone and in person interview, how to sell your services, etc.
It might be a good idea to join a Facebook group for doulas and ask around where they trained and if they would recommend it. Lots of doulas choose to train with DTI (Doula Trainings International). They offer both postpartum and birth doula training together (which is more pricey) plus mentorship that seems very comprehensive. Plus their certification is for life.
Depending where you live, there might be some community doula training programs, like Ancient Doula Song in NYC, which is offered for free in exchange for 3 free births.
DONA, of course, is the oldest doula organization out there, and you might consider them for your training.
ProDoula is another popular organization with a heavy focus on the business side of the job. Check out their Facebook group, The Business of Being a Doula.
For a longer list of doula organizations, please see our post here.
2. Do the necessary number of births for your certification. Most organizations require three births to get certified.
3. File your certification paperwork and get certified. Organizations like DONA allow two years to complete certification process.
4. Decide if you want to work on your own or with an agency. Some agencies let you do both.
Hope this information helps. What organization did you train with? Share your experiences below and happy doulaing!