This post was written by DTI Doula Educator and User Experience Director, Jenny Bennett.
In my role as an educator, as well as behind-the-scenes with DTI, I get to speak with a lot of people at various stages of their doula journeys, even before they decide to start. In my customer care role, I walk you through different options to help you decide what works best. We work with you throughout your certification time period and cheer you on as you’re becoming familiar with your new roles as doula, advocate, and business owner. Along with my colleagues, I answer all of those new doula questions as you’re getting started, too.
Here are the 7 top questions I get asked about our trainings, so if you’re wondering how to become a doula, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect:
1.) How do I get started?
Take a training! Doula support is the most natural thing in the world and if you feel called to it, there’s a good chance you’re already equipped to do it. But to wrap your head around the settings you’ll be stepping into, the practical side of finding work, different ways to build a practice… these are a few of the major reasons that training is a great idea. Connecting with a community who is there for you as you’re learning and growing is also a huge benefit.
A few of the common questions new doulas have:
- Do I need insurance?
- What about a business license?
- How do I work with providers to help my clients receive good care?
- How do I find clients and get my name out there? (A little more info. on this below.)
- What happens if I miss a birth? How do I make all of this work?
These are great questions and there are many options for doula work, especially if you take a full-spectrum training! All of this and more will get answered during your training.
Do you help me find clients?
DTI does not link you directly with clients, however our programs offer a strong business focus to help you build a practice that’s uniquely you and guides you in getting creative about ways to connect with your core audience. Check our schedule to see if a local workshop is offered near you. It’s in those cities where you’ll find the highest concentration of practicing DTI doulas who are the best referral source for finding work! A free doula locator listing is included with your membership as well.
What does it take to get certified?
Although you’ll already be prepared to work as a doula after your training, completing additional certification requirements does further your education, experience, connections and resources. All of the activities are designed to bring value to you as the student, which brings value to your clients. Check out the full list of certification requirements here and DTI’s required reading list here. Although DTI has kept a traditional title or two on the list, we’ve vetted a selection that’s quite a bit different than your average doula reading list.
Why choose DTI?
We all have personal preferences, a favorite logo or an Instagram post that caught our attention when making a purchasing decision. Yet in today’s world of healthcare options being restricted, increasing awareness around systemic racism, and the resulting poor outcomes in birth care, I’d say that you owe it to yourself and to your future clients to consider training with an organization actively working to combat these issues.
DTI continually examines ways to remove barriers and increase access to high-quality training. Are you choosing a workshop because it’s the most affordable option? Or because there’s a trainer affiliated with a brand-name in your area that all the doulas seem to be going to? Carefully consider each aspect of what you’re buying and ask the questions:
- Are there hidden fees? Membership + workshop tuition + certification material fee + re-certification is the standard formula, compared to DTI’s doula resource subscription + lifetime certification program. Particularly after a few years of practicing, investing in DTI is less expensive, even though it requires more up front than some of the other programs available.
- Does the organization support you as an individual? Life happens! If you need to step away from doula work to have a baby of your own, or for any other reason, your certification will not lapse. You are able to stay plugged in and current in the field through the DTI annual membership. And last but not least…
- Is the training curriculum rigorous and current? After completion of certification requirements, DTI doulas are experienced, well-educated and prepared to serve all pregnant and birthing families through the lens of cultural humility and reproductive justice. All trained DTI members will have access to a reproductive health curriculum update beginning in October 2019. Potential doulas have the option to select our full-spectrum certification (reproductive health + birth + postpartum) together in one program. You can also choose birth or postpartum separately, but you will need to train in both eventually if you want to certify as a full-spectrum doula.
Want to train with us?
We have full-spectrum birth and post-partum doula trainings coming up both online and offline throughout the rest of the year and in 2020! Beyond these trainings, you can also pursue our Childbirth Educator course or single trainings as a birth or post-partum doula. Head to our training schedule to learn more about our calendar and how to register. (Pro-tip: If you train with us in DC this November, I’ll be your instructor!)
About the author:
Jenny Bennett (she/her) is a doula educator and director of user experience for DTI. Connect on IG @expectingthebestbirth if you want to learn how to become a doula in Washington DC! Or learn more about Jenny by visiting https://expectingthebestbirth.com/