Want to Provide Support to a Pregnant Family Member or Friend? Already Work With Pregnant Women in Some Way Or Plan To? ….And Other Reasons You Might Consider Taking a DOULA TRAINING.
Doula trainings are becoming increasingly popular and not all of the women taking them plan to become doulas. Doulas as modern professionals are bringing back the concept of continuous support during labor that women always had in the past. A doula is a woman who provides emotional, physical and informational support to a laboring woman and her partner. Doulas are trained in techniques that work with a woman’s body to relieve pain and support the many emotions that come up throughout the birthing process.
Doulas are also the only childbirth professionals who stay continuously engaged with the mom throughout the entire birth process, usually joining the laboring woman at home and helping her get to the place of birth, or joining her in the home for a planned homebirth, and then remaining with the mother for 1-2 hours after, to continue providing guidance and support.
Doulas have been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of an unnecessary cesarean birth and other interventions. As a community always looking for ways to improve our health and provide our children with the best start to their lives possible, it’s no surprise that women are seeking new (old) approaches and that the demand for doula services is on the rise.
So here are some reasons why you just might want to come to a doula training:
- You are considering having a child one day. You will be astounded by what you learn in just a few days. When I took my doula training, I was 24 and didn’t have children. I was simply interested in women’s health and intrigued, having recently watched two of my good friends give birth. Though I knew a bit more about birth than the average NYC woman my age, my training with Debra Pascali-Bonaro blew my mind. Taking a doula training before you give birth yourself will prepare you to know what to look for in doctor or midwife (and better yet, will teach you the difference so you know which one is right for your care). You also won’t be stuck at the end of your pregnancy with a care provider who doesn’t support your choices.
- You work with pregnant women in some way. You are a massage therapist, acupuncturist, chiropractor, yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, homeopath…the list of wellness practitioners can go on and on. Many practitioners find that their clients start to ask them to attend their births because they are so comfortable with them, even though they don’t specifically have a prenatal practice, A great deal of our doula trainees come for this reason alone. They want to be able to support a few clients per year through their birth experience.
- You want to become a midwife or an obstetrician. There is no better way to find out if you really want to invest the many years it takes to become a midwife or OB than to start attending births as a doula. The doula training will also give you the foundation for your ongoing training.
- You have a friend or family member who is or will be pregnant in the future and you want to offer her as much support as possible. It’s the best of both worlds: someone who knows the mom well and has the extra skills and knowledge gleaned from doula training. She can provide amazing emotional and physical comfort and guidance.
- You have a strong interest in Reproductive Rights and Justice. There is a lot of work around women’s rights when it comes to contraception, abortion, etc, but there is very little public outcry or concern about the way women are treated in our hospitals today during childbirth. If you want to change the system, there is no better way to learn what is going on firsthand than to become a doula before moving on to public health work or birth activism.
- You seek a unique few days to yourself. Doula training workshops are transformative! If you are seeking intellectual stimulation, as well as the opportunity to share yourself with others in an intimate and nurturing space, there is nothing like spending a few days in the company of inspiring and intelligent women from all walks of life while learning how to support another women through childbirth.
Birth Day Presence is the go-to DONA International Doula Training Center in NYC. Many moms, friends, siblings and others with a close relationship to an expecting mother, attend our classes so that they can provide helpful support to a loved one. Knowledge of the doula practice is also a valuable addition for anyone already working with expecting moms, and a full range of professionals in the sector come to our trainings as well. This post is adapted from an earlier post.