Birth Career Advice?

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MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276
Birth Career Advice?

I have known I want to have a career related to birth ever since I was pregnant with my first baby. Right now, what I really want is to become a Hypnobabies instructor. Kerry will be doing phone interviews for the 2011 instructor trainings starting in August. I will need some sort of background in both hypnosis and birth as prerequisites for the training. They offer their own "intro" courses for people without these backgrounds. I'm planning on doing their hypnosis intro course, but I'm not sure what to do about the childbirth part. I don't have any formal background in childbirth, but I think the "intro to childbirth" course would not have much new information for me since I've researched it so much on my own. I am considering getting doula certified. I would like to work as a doula when my kids are older, but I think attending births wouldn't fit in with my current life, especially since I don't live near any family who could watch my kids while I ran off to a birth. I originally planned to wait and get DONA certified closer to when I will be ready to attend births, but then I discovered Childbirth International's doula cert. program, which is done all homestudy and online and they don't require yearly membership dues to maintain certification. I would have to attend 2 births to get certified. I actually have 3 friends from church who are all pregnant right now and are all planning natural births, so I think I could work out doula-ing for 2 of them. I think I would grow a lot doing doula certification, but I just don't know if now is really the time for me to get it. Any advice?

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

I'm kind of in the same boat. I really, really want to be involved in this area. I wish I would feel comfortable enough to become a MW, but I'm just not. I am a Bradley Method instructor and want to become a doula, but with my 2 year old and the new one on the way I don't have the time to devote the time I should to clients, BUT I think what I'll do is start my doula training perhaps over the next year or so and do what I can that way, when I feel comfortable leaving my children overnight to help others, I'll be ready!

The online route sounds awesome. I'll have to look into that as well!

good luck! Sorry I don't have much advice!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I don't have any advice either but I'll be interested to see what others say. This whole experience has really gotten me thinking in a similar direction...

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

Is there any way you can skip the doula certification and just go for the childbirth experience? I have found there is still a need out there for doulas and many people are not even familiar with the certifications anyways. You could offer your services for a "reduced" fee if you are not seeking certification. Just always remember to ask for a donation, etc to cover gas and snacks and that sort of thing. Or you could even ask a full, comparable price. When I was looking for a doula I was contacted by several who were highly regarded and had no intentions of becoming certified. Some of those ladies were more experienced and qualified than some of the midwives I've met lol.

Start with your ladies at church, and then word of mouth is the best advertisement. You can even set up a free website with www.weebly.com so that you look professional and everything. Make some business cards, and there ya go!! Do you have any teen pregnancy centers in the area, or anything like Planned Parenthood? You could offer your services to lower income areas to gain the experience, and then it is a win-win situation. You get what you need and they get what they need without breaking the bank.

I think you are on a wonderful path... I would LOVE to have you as a doula!! I hope everything goes the way you desire!!

ETA: Here's my doula site with weebly so you can see an example... and it was totally free to set up and very very easy: http://2helpfulhandsdoula.weebly.com/

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

Hi Brittany! I'm excited for you to start this, I think you'll be wonderful! I too am planning on attending the Hypnobabies instructor course - after 3 hypnobabies births I'm completely sold on the concept. Who knows, maybe we'll be there together! That would be fun Smile I'm currently going through CBI and like you had thought of going through DONA before that but I think CBI has soo much more to offer. One thing to keep in mind is that you have 3 years from the time you sign up with CBI to finish your course so you can learn at a pace that is comfortable for you and that works for your family & current situation. To me, that is a win win & would allow you to start now without the pressure of having to get everything done immediately.

Getting a website up & running is a good idea - I go through 1and1.com my site is down, I'm revamping it but the url is http://www.sacredcirclesdoula.com - I think their a great way for people to learn a bit about you & then contact you if they so choose. When my site is up I tend to have more people contact me that way than by phone. Also networking with the doula's & birth workers in your area helps - word of mouth can be a very positive tool to get yourself known.

:goodluck: with your decision!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Chimmy, that is cool that you are planning to do the Hypnobabies training, too! I think I read that they are holding two trainings, but it would be really cool if we were at the same one.

Ariel, I *think* I would need doula training and not just doula experience to meet the requirements for the Hypnobabies "childbirth background" prerequisite. I might have to ask to be sure, though. I know that certification isn't necessary to be a good doula, but I think I would benefit a lot from the skills taught in the training. The CBI program really appeals to me. newtomom, (and anyone else who is interested) the website is http://childbirthinternational.com. The syllabus says their manuals cover communication skills, physiology, and doula skills (which includes labor support and practical business stuff).

I still need to think about it. I think what is holding me back is that I can't see a way to work out childcare for doulaing, and I think if I got certified, I'd have a tough time turning down a woman who needed a doula.

I deinitely agree that having a website is good. I was frustraited that nobody had websites for doula services when I was looking for a doula here. I didn't want to call someone I found on a listing that could be years old not knowing if that person was still attending births or even living in the area anymore. I like the idea of having my own domain name instead of a free "dot-something-dot-com" one.

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

I agree about the domain name. I know on weebly you can actually build your site and then purchase the name minus the .weebly.com later if you want. That has been my plan to sort of test it out and see where it takes me and then go in later and purchase the domain without having to build a whole new site.

Also, CAPPA does a distance ed doula cert program. That is the training I did. It is basically dvds of an actual live training event. I have been happy with their program and have found it to be very informative. I think you would definitely benefit from the training as I surely did.

I hope you find the perfect fit!! Do you know if you have to actually be a certified doula or will it suffice if you could prove that you have completed a doula training program?

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

The childcare issues can be a hard one sometimes. We were talking about it on the CBI list recetly & several of the ladies there solved it by getting together & agree'ing to watch each other's kids when it was needed & knowing that another doula would understand birth doesn't happen from 9am to 5pm you don't have to worry about disturbing them at 3am with your kids b/c they expect it lol I wonder if at some point that might be an option for you.

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

I don't have any advice either - but I do want to wish you lots of luck. I think going down this path is a great thing and I am sure you will find a way to make it work.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I don't know any details off hand, but my doula is seeking "childbirth educator" certification that is different from doula certification. As part of it, she is teaching a childbirth education for some pregnant women at our church. I'm going to be telling my birth story at one and doing a bf demo at another. As far as I know she doens't need to attend births to get this. Someone is coming to observe her classes as part of her certification. Let me know if you want details and I will ask her.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

I think it is great you are pursuing this, Brittany. You do need official birth certification to meet the Hypnobabies prerequisite (as far as I'm aware). I mailed a copy of my DONA certification and did the home study hypnosis course through Hypnobabies.

I've done training programs through DONA (labor doula), CAPPA (childbirth educator), HypnoBirthing, and Hypnobabies. Hypnobabies by far the best experience. The training was excellent and the long-term support has been fabulous. Kerry really cares about the instructors and the moms. I did my Hypnobabies training four years ago and am SO happy that I did. Smile

In your shoes I would do the Childbirth International doula course. I plan to do it once I'm ready to attend birhs again. It looks much more comprehensive than other doula programs and I appreciate that you don't have to do the yearly membership.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

"krazykat" wrote:

I agree about the domain name. I know on weebly you can actually build your site and then purchase the name minus the .weebly.com later if you want. That has been my plan to sort of test it out and see where it takes me and then go in later and purchase the domain without having to build a whole new site.

Also, CAPPA does a distance ed doula cert program. That is the training I did. It is basically dvds of an actual live training event. I have been happy with their program and have found it to be very informative. I think you would definitely benefit from the training as I surely did.

I hope you find the perfect fit!! Do you know if you have to actually be a certified doula or will it suffice if you could prove that you have completed a doula training program?

That is nice to know about weebly. I like the idea of having the option to upgrade to owning a domain name at any time.

I really like the Childbirth International doesn't require yearly dues to maintain certification. If I choose to not act as a doula until we're done having kids and the last one is old enough to be left at night, certifying with CAPPA would mean money out of my pocket for all those years, same with DONA (which regularly does w workshops at the midwifery school in Seattle). That is why I would have wanted to wait to certify until I was sure I was ready to be a doula, but with CBI, whether I certify now or later, what I have to pay is the same, and if I'm going to get certified eventually, I might as well do it now so that I can use it as the prerequisite for Hypnobabies. Their website says "
A background in childbirth means doula, childbirth, midwifery or nursing training" so full certification may not be required, but I think if I started soon, I'd have no problem finishing CBI's requirements by next summer in time for the Hynobabies training seminar.

"Watermelon_Gypsy" wrote:

The childcare issues can be a hard one sometimes. We were talking about it on the CBI list recetly & several of the ladies there solved it by getting together & agree'ing to watch each other's kids when it was needed & knowing that another doula would understand birth doesn't happen from 9am to 5pm you don't have to worry about disturbing them at 3am with your kids b/c they expect it lol I wonder if at some point that might be an option for you.

At this point, I don't know of anyone near me who is currently working as a doula or seeking certification, other than the one who lives 30 min away. But that is a good idea if I find anyone else who wants to do it.

"RedRoses" wrote:

I don't know any details off hand, but my doula is seeking "childbirth educator" certification that is different from doula certification. As part of it, she is teaching a childbirth education for some pregnant women at our church. I'm going to be telling my birth story at one and doing a bf demo at another. As far as I know she doens't need to attend births to get this. Someone is coming to observe her classes as part of her certification. Let me know if you want details and I will ask her.

A childbirth educator certification would fulfill the prerequisite for the Hypnobabies training, but it doesn't really give me much benefit, since certifying with Hypnobabies is a childbirth education credential. If I was looking for the easiest way to get the prerequisite, I'd just take the Hypnobabies intro to childbirth course, but fulfilling it with doula certification gives me something I can use in the future when I am ready to be a doula.

"Winky_the_HouseElf" wrote:

I think it is great you are pursuing this, Brittany. You do need official birth certification to meet the Hypnobabies prerequisite (as far as I'm aware). I mailed a copy of my DONA certification and did the home study hypnosis course through Hypnobabies.

I've done training programs through DONA (labor doula), CAPPA (childbirth educator), HypnoBirthing, and Hypnobabies. Hypnobabies by far the best experience. The training was excellent and the long-term support has been fabulous. Kerry really cares about the instructors and the moms. I did my Hypnobabies training four years ago and am SO happy that I did. Smile

In your shoes I would do the Childbirth International doula course. I plan to do it once I'm ready to attend birhs again. It looks much more comprehensive than other doula programs and I appreciate that you don't have to do the yearly membership.

Thanks for your advice, Laura. I'm really leaning toward doing the CBI doula course. I should talk to my friends if they are at the park playdate tomorrow and ask if they would be willing to let me use them as my doula guinea pigs...hehehe.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

I know someone who is doing the CBI training and she loves it. CAPPA has distance education. They are similar to DONA. I am doing mine through DONA because I wanted an actual workshop and they were the only ones doing one anywhere near where I live. I love being a doula.

Good luck! I have considered being a Hypnobabies instructor too since there are none here in the state of IL. I don't have the time right now though, so maybe in the future.

awini8's picture
Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 386

What a great thread with lots of information. I have nothing to share, but well wishes to all of you ladies pursuing Hypnobabies instructor cert. and being a Doula. There are so many women out there who need you. I have toyed with the idea once our children are older to do something like this as well, but not for quite a few years. GL!! Biggrin