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I've been working on the birth doula certification with Childbirth International. I like the program because it's all online so I can easily work on it when I have some spare time. I have completed all of the communication and physiology modules. I just have book reviews and 2 births to attend left to do in order to get my certification. The doulas in my area seem to have either gotten their certification with CBI or DONA. I think DONA is more well known, but honestly, I don't think it matters a lot in the end. If you have a volunteer doula program in your area that is a good place to get networked with to shadow other doulas and/or get clients.
Also, it might pay to check into the schools in your area before completing your ADN. Since your end goal is to become a CNM, you will have to eventually get your BSN first. I found that I would end up having to do some extra classes if I got my ADN first then started work on a BSN. It actually makes the most sense, financially and time wise to go straight for the BSN. Good luck to you!
I did mine through DONA. The class is very simple and quick. You dont become certified until you complete a certain amount of births and turn in the paperwork from those births. I loved being a doula. One con is that you are on call about 2 weeks before the due date and up to 2 weeks after. So your parents can go into labor at any point and you have to go. That could be difficult if you are in school at the same time. I have one birth coming up but thank God it is a friend and I told her mornings are rough. I couldnt tell that to a client. I would say my births are usually very quick but mainly the moms I have had are night time labors after Ive had a long day. THen I work all night at the hospital and turn around and have to be up all day the next day. I dont think I would want to work at it during nursing school but before starting would be fine. You can see if you can find doulas in your area. I know one here teaches the class and offers some of her students the opportunity for referrals to births that they do free so they can become certified.
I cant name all the pros...I loved it.
Thanks everyone- I'm in the Boston MA area and DONA is very popular but I'm not sure it's for me. I do like the Childbirth International idea as online would be very helpful but I also want to network with some birth workers in the area. Any ideas how to go about doing that? I've just moved here and I emailed a bunch of midwives, doulas etc I found online and so far no one has responded. I've been told Bostonians are a bit cold, but I'm hoping that's not the case!
I just took my CAPPA labor doula course and loved it! I am a peds nurse trying toget into l&d and I should hear in the next month if I got into nurse midwifery school. Our birthing community is incredibly supportive and helpful!