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What You Need to Know to Become a Doula

By HERWriter
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The basic characteristics of both types of doulas can be found in the questions a potential client might ask:

• Are you warm and kind when dealing with people you may or may not know well?
• Are you enthusiastic and eager to please?
• Are you knowledgeable about the process of delivering a child or caring for a newborn?
• Are you able to communicate clearly to prospective parents about the delivery process or to new parents to help them learn to care for their child?

• Are you comfortable touching others, such as giving massages?
• Are you able to set aside your own beliefs or feelings to support the choices of others?

Certification as a doula shows prospective clients that you have the basic training needed to do the job. You can continue to improve your skills as a doula by staying up-to-date on all delivery techniques and procedures including new equipment you and your clients might encounter during a delivery. Networking with other doulas as well as other childbirth professionals such as nurses and midwives can give you new insights and help you improve your skills to provide the best possible care to your clients.

Further reading:
What is a Birth Doula?
What is a Postpartum Doula?
]]>How to Choose a Doula]]>

DONA International
International Childbirth Education Association
Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association
American Pregnancy Association
The Journal of Perinatal Education

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Why did you limit the article to the "old school" doula training programs? There are other programs out there that are just as good and offer a lot more structure (Childbirth International and Birth Arts International to name a few)

August 6, 2011 - 9:48pm

As a postpartum doula it's insulting to see that photo of a baby with a bottle shoved in it's mouth.

Look at DONA.org short video about the history of postpartum and birth doulas.

The existence of postpartum Doulas came about to support breastfeeding. We are NOT interchangeable with baby nurses.

Please Read anthropologist Dana Raphael's book "The tender girt: Breastfeeding", she coined the word DOULA. Postpartum doulas are there for women who want support with breastfeeding.

December 12, 2010 - 12:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

Poor photo for this article! Not sure what is going on there. The uncomfortable mom is shoving a bottle onto her awkwardly held baby. What does that have to do with doulaing? A large part of being a doula is helping to support the new mother's nursing time. Perhaps a better picture could be used?

November 23, 2010 - 11:23am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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