Today, I received a scholarship for Birth Arts International for their distance learning Doula Certification Program.

I have mixed feelings.

I am in love with their program and am so excited to be able to learn more about labor support and other things, but at the same time, I don’t think a certification is necessary for me.

I have been studying all of this for a year and a half.  That is 18 months.  I am in love with the topic.  Have read over 30 books just on this topic alone.  I know the ins and outs of labor and how to support a woman.  I know positions that help and hinder, I know problems that could arise, I know how to show the partner how to help so I am not in the way.

This isn’t a job to me.  This is a calling.

I have trouble charging for something that I love to do.  If I could, I would help women completely for free!  The problem though is that no one is taking me seriously when I say I don’t charge to help them.

You would think people would jump all over something being free.  But I always hear that “You get what you pay for.”

And now, this may sound conceited, but I am a hell of a lot better than some free gum you get off the side of the road!

So, I started looking into certification.  Even though I absolutely ABHOR the idea.  I truly do not think a piece of paper will make me a better doula.  I don’t think it will help me be better at my job or teach me more than I know now.  I really truly do not think it is necessary.

But, from the interviews I have had and the response I have been given, no one will take me seriously until I get certified.

I found Birth Arts International through one of my twitter friends.  She recently got a scholarship through them and is starting their doula program.  I looked into it, and I could get $200 off a certification!!

I applied yesterday, and got approved today.  I bought my packet, and it should be here this week.

I am really excited to be working with Birth Arts, but really upset that it has to be this way.  I don’t like being reduced to a piece of paper.

Oh well, I guess you can never learn too much!!


8 Responses

  1. Congratulations. Please don’t have mixed feelings, you know you are a great doula and you don’t NEED certification, but this is a wonderful opportunity and you should be grateful for receiving this scholarship! ❤

  2. It can’t hurt to do the training. You will probably get some new ideas or perspectives. Potential clients don’t know all the reading and studying that you’ve done and need the certification for their confidence in your knowledge and abilities. I wouldn’t take it personally, though. I do understand that some people want to have a doula with a lot of actual doula experience, not just theoretical knowledge. There is a lot of value in that experience, especially if the doula has a good relationship and a lot of experience with the hospital/birth center/homebirth environment and providers that you are using. That may be why some people would rather pay than use a free doula.

    That said, my friend, who is a DONA certified doula is using me as her doula for her VBAC this summer. I am not a certified doula and have only attended 1 observation birth, but my personal VBAC experience and knowledge of her are more important to her than certification.

    Great news that you got the scholarship and I hope the program has something to offer.

  3. Good luck with it!! There’s no such thing as too much training, in my opinion anyway. And it will all be a good base to build on when you do your midwifery.

    Even if you know everything in the package, look at it as more pieces of paper for your portfolio!! Employers and universities love pieces of paper!

  4. I know this is going to sound weird coming from me, but…I understand completely what the mom’s are saying in that ‘you get what you pay for’. I’m not saying that you aren’t good by any means, but if you don’t know you (or a doula) personally, how can you trust them?
    If she does have a dumb paper saying she is certified it would make me feel a LOT more safe. Knowing that she’s not some bum off the street ( not that bums wouldn’t make good doulas):). You just need to have that air of authority for most women to be comfortable.
    Did that make sence?

  5. A piece of paper will not make you a better doula, no way no how. It might make you appear to be a better doula to an outsider with limited knowledge on how we become who we are.

    As you know, I’ve taken DONA training twice. A weekend course and a 12 week program (or was it 11?). I choose not to become certified for a variety of reasons, but would take any chance I can to take more training!

    I’m so happy we both got a scholarship to BAI.

  6. Haha, I love that the automatic generator gave out a link to “trying to get malpractice insurance”. Laughing my butt off!

  7. Your certification will protect you. I have had the same issues as a Chiropractor. I attend many women in labor and was sure there was little covered in the cert that I did not know, but I did it anyway (here is why) Birth attendance does not fall under the scope of practice for Chiropractic in the state of GA. States are always looking for ways to increase revenue, and professional licenses is one of the ways they do this. As states look into licensing more professions, those practicing without formal education & or certification may lost their ability to practice. This is happening already with the Massage profession.. …

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