Monday, November 7, 2011

Could My Journey Be Starting?

My first home birth was in 2006, with my first son Brigham.  I loved my midwife, Suzanne.  She taught me a lot about pregnancy and birth.  Brigham was my fourth child, and I had no idea how ignorant I was until I began talking with Suzanne.  That is when I decided to begin studying about pregnancy and birth.  I didn't want to be ignorant and uneducated.  I made it my personal journey to know everything I could about natural birth.  I have studied to the point that my husband had started calling me a "Birth Cultist".  Saying that all I do is study and discuss pregnancy and birth.  Somewhere inside of me, I knew what was to come.  I want, like nothing else, to become a midwife.  It is my absolute dream.  For the time being, though, I am wanting to be a doula.  It is my passion.  It is what I would love to do for the rest of my life.  I want nothing more than to help and support women with their pregnancies and births.

With all of this, I am a member of a group on Face Book called Birth Is Normal.  Today, as I've been pondering how to become a doula, they posted a new Document telling me one way to do this.  I am going to post it here, so I can later reference back to it, and maybe it will help someone else.  I found this inspiring, seeing how my path became clouded and confused after reading through the DONA site, and not finding the help that I was seeking.

Here is the document...

So you are thinking about becoming a Doula.....

Overwhelmed and confused where to go from here? Have the passion and desire to help other women through the childbearing year but don't know how to go about it? Here is a little step-by-step guide that will hopefully help you.

First contact local doulas in your area, set up a time with them face-to-face and pick their brain. Ask challenges they face as a doula in your area, how they became a doula, training program they choose and why, do they do doula mentoring, average doula rate for your area, etc. Become familiar with all the doulas within a 2hr radius.

Network with other birth professionals (doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, LC's) in your area, look for the nearest doula network, and contact Le Leache League chapter, ICAN Chapter and other birth group chapters.  Attend meetings and get to know other birth activists.

Watch the following documentaries to learn more about the current status of the maternity health care:
The Business of Being Born
Orgasmic Birth
Attending Birth
Pregnant in America

Read the following books:
Special Women: The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant by Paulina Perez
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Get to know your local hospitals and birth centers. Find out if they have midwives on staff, do they offer water birth, what their c-section, induction, epidural, vbac, vaginal twin, rates are. Then find out about practices that serve each hospital and their individual rates for c-section, induction/augmentation, vbac, epidural, etc.

Research the various doula training programs. There are many to choose from! Just a few are:
Birth Arts International(BAI), Childbirth International(CBI), CAPPA, AVIVA, Birthing From Within, DONA, Birth Works, ICEA, Christian Childbirth Association, etc. Remember you can train but you do not have to certify with any organization; however if the area you live in is heavily populated with doulas and there is a lot of competition certification may be necessary.

Join the doula networking site 

Good luck on your journey to empowering women!

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