Virtual Birth and Postpartum Doula Trainings
Wow, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to stretch in all the ways. We're learning a lot of new skills, and finding ways to keep working, connecting and growing from home. Fortunately, doulas are great at adapting to new circumstances!
For a limited time during the Coronavirus pandemic, we are offering online DONA approved birth and postpartum doula trainings.
We know that the world needs doulas more than ever before, and trainings should go on. Our trainers have expertise in using online platforms to keep your live doula training interactive, fun, bonding and full of real-life wisdom to help you in your doula career. So far, students are saying they've been impressed by how much they enjoyed the online doula training experience, even if they didn't think they liked to learn virtually.
Here are some answers to the questions we hear most, along with information to help you prepare for your virtual doula workshop.
FAQs ~ online birth and postpartum doula trainings
Q. What will my virtual doula training be like?
A. The photo here is an actual screenshot from our virtual postpartum doula training in April 2020. We use the Zoom platform, which allows the doulas to interact, brainstorm on a virtual "white board," watch videos, break into small groups for activities, and more. Our online birth and postpartum doula trainings are live, engaging and fun. The doulas tell us that they're amazed by how bonded and connected they feel to each other and their trainer. Most of all, our online doula trainings prepare you for the real work of being a doula.
Q. Do I need to have a lot of tech skills? I'm nervous!
A. Zoom is really easy to use. You just need a smart phone or a laptop with a camera, and you'll download the Zoom app. We'll give you a link to log on for the training, and that's about all you need to know! Your trainer will offer a quick Zoom tutorial on things like muting and unmuting yourself, and changing the way you see the other participants and your doula trainer on the screen. Still nervous? Just ask your trainer to do a special login with you before the online doula workshop starts, so you can get familiar with the technology. We're always happy to doula you through!
Q. I don't live in (or near) the city listed for the online training. Can I still take the virtual training?
A. Yes! You can take one of our virtual trainings from your home in any city in the world. (So far, our furthest virtual student lives in Lagos, Nigeria.) The cities you'll see listed are where the trainings were originally scheduled. For the birth doula workshops, if you aren't able to travel to the city listed for the later hands-on component, we'll help you get connected to a local doula or childbirth educator who can help you with that in your home community (see below). For postpartum workshops, you'll get everything you need online.
Q. What are the hours of the virtual training?
A. When we make the decision to take a training online, we'll update the hours on our registration pages. (Birth Doula Registration • Postpartum Doula Registration) That's the best place to check for the most updated information. Generally, virtual training hours are a little shorter than in-person trainings, because we can take shorter breaks mid-morning, mid-afternoon and for lunch. (Also, because birth doula workshops require an additional hands-on component, see below.)
Q. How do I know if my training will be in-person or virtual?
A. Check the registration pages for the most recent information, but you are always welcome to email us at email@example.com. We are really wishing for a crystal ball right now! All May and June 2020 trainings will be virtual, and possibly July. We'll see what the health crisis brings for the fall and winter. One way another, in-person or virtual, your training will go on. If you are registered for an in-person training and not able to attend virtually, we're also giving you the option to transfer at no cost to a later in-person workshop (there's usually a $100 transfer fee).
Q. What equipment and conditions do I need to have for a virtual doula training?
You'll need a cell phone or a laptop with a camera, able to download the Zoom app. If you can't get sound through your cell phone or computer, you can use the phone/laptop for video and also dial in for sound by telephone. You'll need a stable internet connection.
DONA International requires that you are alone in a room for the entire training, with the camera on. That means no other adults or children can be with you or behind you on the screen. Nursing babies can visit to nurse — expect the other doulas to melt a little when they see your squish in your arms. 🙂
Q. Are there any in-person requirements for a postpartum doula workshop?
No, the postpartum doula training can be completed 100% online. The worskhop is the first step toward DONA International certification, and you can find the full postpartum doula certification requirements on the DONA International website. But don't worry, we'll explain the certification steps in detail during the training. You can start working as a doula right away after your training, while you complete the rest of the certification requirements.
Q. Are there any in-person requirements for a birth doula workshop?
A. Yes. In addition to the virtual birth doula workshop, you will need to complete a hands-on portion of the training. This will be scheduled when it is safe for us to meet again. The free five-hour training will include hands-on comfort measures and techniques for malpositioned babies, and it will be held in the city where the doula workshop was originally scheduled.
If you are not able to make the date of that training or if you can't travel to the scheduled city, you can also attend another five-hour hands-on skills training on our schedule. If you can't make any of our hands-on skills trainings, our birth doula trainer Jessica can also authorize you to do an in-person training in your home community with a DONA certified doula, or a certified childbirth educator (approved certifications, such as Lamaze International or ICEA). Expect that if you do the hands-on skills with someone else, you'll probably need to pay them. We'll work with you to figure out options! It's our goal for you to become certified, so count on us as partners.
Q. Does the online birth doula training still include Intro to Birth and Breastfeeding for Doulas?
Yes, these two elements will be offered virtually along with the basic doula training. You will still complete three of the requirements needed for certification (childbirth education requirement, birth doula workshop, and breastfeeding requirement — full list of requirements can be accessed on the DONA International website). You can start working and charging for your services right away after the training, while you are completing the rest of your certification requirements. As a side note, the breastfeeding training offered with the birth doula workshop also counts toward certification as a postpartum doula.
Q. Will I receive a certificate after the workshop?
Yes. You'll receive a certificate of completion after your online postpartum or birth doula training. Birth doulas will also need the certificate of hands-on training to complete their certification, along with other DONA International requirements. (Check the DONA International website for a full list of birth doula certification requirements and postpartum doula certification requirements.) Remember that you can start working as a doula right away after the training, while you are completing the rest of your certification requirements.
Q. Will you talk about virtual doula-ing?
Definitely! This is a unique time in the history of birth and postpartum doula support. Doulas are allowed to attend birth and postpartum clients during COVID-19 restrictions in some areas, and not in others. We'll talk through the current situation, give an overview of virtual doula best practices, and connect you with resources where you can learn more. Social distancing won't last forever, though, so we'll focus mostly on in-person support.
Any other questions? Send them our way! Fill out our contact form and we'll get back to you just as soon as we can.