Journey Back to Certification
Certifying for the First Time
In March of 2005 I began my journey to doula work by attending a DONA birth doula training in Atlanta with the amazing Rae Davies. I was serious about this new career and began the road to certification immediately. I completed all requirements, including attending 5 births in order to get the 3 qualifying births for certification. (2 of my first 5 births were C-section births and only 1 could count towards certification at the time)
In late 2005, I received my DONA certification and began doula work in earnest. I took about 2 -3 clients a month regularly until I became pregnant in late 2006. After a few months, off in 2007, I started up again and continued with the work that I loved. My DONA certification was up for re-certification in 2008 and I completed it as required without any issues. In 2009, I started YourDoulaBag.com and began selling products for doulas. Also in 2009, another pregnancy and birth of my own (baby #4) took me out of doula work for about 4 months. Right about summer of 2010 I was enthusiastically back to a full client load and was busy building my doula products business. At this time, I also created the doula data management program YourDoulaBiz. Doula business was good. I was "all in" as a doula. This was my profession and I embraced it completely. To be honest, I was juggling a lot of balls at this time in my life. Four kids and a start up business was a lot for me to handle and things sometimes slipped through the cracks.
What I didn't do was pay attention to my re-certification date.
By the time, I realized that I had missed my re-certification deadline it was too late. DONA International did not have a policy in place (which I believe they do now) that would allow you to re-certify after you miss your deadline. I had lost my CD(DONA)! You might be wondering how I could have ignored reminders from DONA. Unfortunately, the organization had a few glitches with their notification system and reminder postcards weren’t sent. An email might have gone out, but I didn’t see it.
I wanted my certification back, but found out that the only choice that I had at that point was to go through the entire certification process again…from the very beginning! So, I had to make a choice. Continue to spend my very limited free time growing my business and working as a doula or start back at the beginning of the DONA certification process. I decided to continue on with my work and revisit certification at a later date.
The Time Has Come
Six years and many doula clients later I have decided that now is the time to certify again. I think there is value in certifying as a doula and I realized that there is no time like the present. I ordered by DONA birth doula certification packet and started the certification journey…again.
Training in Louisville (aka #recertroadtrip)
January 15th and 16th I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to take part in the DONA birth doula training taught by my friend and amazing DONA trainer, Robin Elise Weiss. It was a great trip! I recruited Kathleen Leathers, my doula buddy and SupportingHer collaborator, to join me for the trip. It was a great weekend filled with lots of doula fun. A highlight of the trip included Saturday night dinner with a group of awesome 100percentdoulas from the area. We dinned in the capital city of Franklin, Kentucky and had a wonderful doula dinner.
The Learning Never Stops
While most of what was covered in doula training was very familiar to me, I did learn some new things and it was a nice way to refresh my skills. Meeting the other members of the training was also a highlight of the trip. I loved all the hands-on skills practice that Robin setup in the training and especially enjoyed pretending to be in labor over and over again.
So, I’m one my way back to becoming certified again. If you are a certified doula or planning to get your certification, heed my warning and don't let your certification lapse!
- Alice Turner