Is doula training useful?

  1. I'm a BSN student, finishing second semester of clinical. Originally my focus was on becoming a CNM eventually, but I realize now that I don't have enough information/experience to make that decision--I'm looking forward to starting OB next semester so I can find out if it's for me.

    Doula training is being offered in my area in January, and I've been thinking about taking it. If I do decide to go into OB and eventually nurse-midwifery, will this training be helpful? Have you had good experiences with doulas? The workshop is over $400--how likely is it that I could make that money back? (Though I'd chiefly be doing it for the experience, it would be nice to earn a little extra.) The company offering the training is one I hadn't heard of before, ALACE; anyone know if they're as reputable as CAPPA and DONA?

    Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can give me--I appreciate your time.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would consider it VERY worthwhile and helpful, yes! Doulas learn support techniques and tricks nurses do not, often. I would find this very useful, and so, I think, would a manager hiring nurses.
  4. by   RNKitty
    So far as "making your money back", I would just consider it an extension of your education. Doula training is infinitely valuable to a labor nurse or CNM. It also shows your hiring manager that you are willing to invest in education toward your chosen field, outside of the BSN.
  5. by   Altalorraine
    Quote from Wendy79
    I'm a BSN student, finishing second semester of clinical. Originally my focus was on becoming a CNM eventually, but I realize now that I don't have enough information/experience to make that decision--I'm looking forward to starting OB next semester so I can find out if it's for me.

    Doula training is being offered in my area in January, and I've been thinking about taking it. If I do decide to go into OB and eventually nurse-midwifery, will this training be helpful? Have you had good experiences with doulas? The workshop is over $400--how likely is it that I could make that money back? (Though I'd chiefly be doing it for the experience, it would be nice to earn a little extra.) The company offering the training is one I hadn't heard of before, ALACE; anyone know if they're as reputable as CAPPA and DONA?

    Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can give me--I appreciate your time.

    I did doula training, and I've found it tremendously helpful. When other nurses are helpless in the face of a transitioning labor patient, I have a whole bunch of tricks up my sleeve. I've hand countless patients hold tight to me yelling, "Don't leave me; I want you to stay with me." When they thank me afterwards it's priceless.

    Altalorraine
  6. by   midwife2b
    I wholeheartedly agree with the other posters!!! You can learn so many useful techniques and tips that will help with lots of different situations. I'm still learning... everyday, with each new patient I meet!
  7. by   CEG
    I'm not a nurse yet, just a student. I took the doula course a year ago and it was wonderful. There were a couple of nurses in my course and they seemed to really enjoy it too.

    I took the DONA course and I paid considerably less than you- I think around $200, so if money is a concern you might want to look into that. Good luck!
  8. by   Selke
    I'll second what others here have said. Doula training is the single best thing anyone can get if thinking of working in labor and delivery. Go for it, it will be money well spent. You will learn things you won't learn in nursing or midwifery school. I also strongly recommend taking courses in massage therapy (one geared towards pregnancy and labor if available in your area), and workshops in things like reflexology (don't snicker -- it can be relaxing to have your feet and hands massaged in labor, and might help relax pelvic muscles, and if you teach the partner or family members these things during labor, it gives them something positive to do!). Some programs will give you CEUs. Completion of such a course is something you'll want documented in your personnel file -- it looks good. Use your techniques you learn at work -- some of the techniques the best doulas use overlap with what's called "labor support" now and this is catching on at more progressive hospitals. You will learn methods of not just helping women get through labor without medication, but how to position her for optimal placement or presentation of the baby in her pelvis to help prevent dysfunctional labor. You can even do many things with a patient who has an epidural. Once you have this doula workshop under your belt, you may want to check out www.dona.org and places like Seattle Midwifery School, which offers lots of great workshops and trainings for birth professionals. Also check out Polly Perez's popularization of doula/midwife techniques which are now marketed as labor support -- she has some great powerpoint presentations and books on this: http://cuttingedgepress.net/ I worked at a Sutter health hospital in northern California, and their regional OB educational program gives out free copies of these things and all L&D RNs are trained in labor support. Also check out Penny Simkin's book, The Labor Support Progress Handbook.

    Good luck!
  9. by   RNnL&D
    :yeahthat: I totally agree with everyone else. I think my doula training was more helpful to me as a labor nurse then my OB rotation in school.
  10. by   ERNurse752
    Not to hijack the thread, but is it possible for an RN to become a doula? Like, for instance, me?
  11. by   Dayray
    Quote from ERNurse752
    Not to hijack the thread, but is it possible for an RN to become a doula? Like, for instance, me?
    Yes, just look up one of the doula credentialing organizations listed above
  12. by   Natalieboo
    As a doula for the past three years, I am ecstatic to see the responses here!

    It makes me feel very proud that our training is respected and sought out by others in the birth community, ESPECIALLY nurses.

    Why not open the door to the birthing world and experience it from another point of view? Experiencing birth as a doula for a few births, and NOT as a nurse (NO clinical duties or paperwork) would EMPOWER you as a nurse and I definately think it would give you a huge advantage with your patients!

    I know there are things EVERY nurse will learn at a doula training. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE you OB nurses, and you know SO much! There are just so many tips and tricks that may help you in the delivery room. In fact, at a recent birth I attended, we had a fabulous nurse who had been in L&D 5 years, however had never heard of "tug of war" pushing! I was shocked at first, but then I realized.. if she had never seen it or was shown it by a coworker, how else would she have found out? It's not a huge thing, but I'm trying to use it as an example of one of the things I learned at doula training.

    Oh, and ALACE is good. There are a few certifying doula organizations. DONA, CAPPA, ALACE and GBI (Global Birth Institute) are the most popular, IMO. ALACE is reputable and based in Boston, MA. Also, you DO NOT have to become certified as a doula to attend births as a doula. Doulas usually start attending births after they have completed their training with one of the organizations. Certification is merely a choice, doulas are not regulated or governed, because they don't do anything clinical or wouldn't be in a position of liability.

    Yikes, sorry for that long post. Hope I was helpful in some way.

    -Tiffany

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