Saturday, 8 October 2016

Benefits of In-Person Birth Doula Training (vs. Online)

There’s quite a difference in doing Birth Doula training in person versus online.  We love virtual classes and even teach a few, but would not recommend it for this particular work.  However, there are some advanced doula classes that could be good online such as business details, writing birth-plans, advocacy – things that aren’t hands-on. 

Here are some of the things you’ll gain through an in-person BWI Birth Doula workshop. 
  • Interaction with the other students; we learn from each others’ questions and comments
  • Hands-on training & practise that are SO important to birth support work e.g. massage techniques, acupressure points, touch-comfort measures.  Practice on several different bodies.
  • Focus on working in scope, and working in harmony with other care providers (doulas, MW, MD, RN, family members)
  • Handling some of the equipment you’ll use or see being used at births e.g. massage balls, rebozos, monitors, equipment used in local hospitals
  • Proper gloving and ungloving practise
  • Training exercise for experiencing contractions, and teaching your clients to cope
  • Hands on practise with helping women into different positions for labour and birth stages
  • Looking at a real placenta (at most classes; in some cases we don’t have one donated for teaching)
  • Group-synergy.  This one is a little hard to pin-point, and kind of organic.  It seems in some classes there’s some kind of general experience is meant to be had.  E.g. at one training several of the women had personal experiences that lead to pelvic floor issues.  One of the participants had an innovative method for dealing with this professionally, and brought in some interesting equipment and instruction to share at lunch.
  • Getting to know women in your area doing birth work, and local resources.  Learning ways to connect even if you’re in a small community working alone.
  • More frank discussion.  Sometimes there’s a big difference in what people will say in person vs what they’ll put out there online for all the world to see/hear over and over again.  Sharing of birth stories falls into this category.  Our circle is a safe place for sharing.
  • Special closing circle.
At the end of the weekend, you’re ready to start taking clients.

Comparison of Birth Doula Certification Programs

16 hr BWI workshop; $450-500
16hr CAPPA workshop; $400-600
$630 CBI program, at own pace
16 hr DONA workshop; $400-700
Cert. Enrollment
Cert. Processing
2 yr (extensions available – no fee)
2 yr (+ $50 for 90 day extension)
2 yr (+10 for 6m extension)
Membership Fees
$65/yr; $50-100 lapse penalty
$100/yr; $25 penalty in case of lapse
Breastfeeding Class
4hrs min; taught by IBCLC or other professional breastfeeding counsellor
2hrs min; taught by IBCLC, CLC, CLE
3hrs min; taught by IBCLC, CLC, CLE
Prenatal Classes
10hrs min; taught by professional childbirth educator
10hrs min; teacher  certified CAPPA, Lamaze, ICEA
12hrs min; teacher certified by one of  several organizations
Other mandatory classes

Hug Your Baby ($35)

DONA Business Webinar ($20)
Read Books
Preworkshop Guide; Local Resource List;   demonstrate understanding of scope, ethics, integrity, and insight
Preworkshop Guide, Local Support List, Final Exam
1 essay, 1 exam
Local Resource List, Basic Knowledge Test, Essay
Number of births
Care Provider Feedback
(1) experienced birth professional (senior doula, nurse, midwife, or physician)
(2) Doctor or Midwife; and
Nurse or Midwife Assistant
(2) Good evaluation from Doctor or MW or RN
Client Feedback
Good evaluation
Doula Feedback
Summary 500-700 words each
Other Requirements
Hospital Tour as a doula/training; 2hrs peer-supported breastfeeding group

Client Reference; Professional Reference
Trainer Support
Yes - ongoing, phone, in-person and online.  May be invited to births with mentor if possible.


Lifetime certification as long as doula remains active.
(Re-cert is available if requested; nominal fee.)
$75 every 3 years; current  membership; 15 hrs CEU; read 10 current research studies;
Not required.  Optional, with a fee.
$80 every 3 years; current membership; attend 3 births/3yrs (submit papers); 15hrs CEU; 
Designation after training workshop
BWI-Trained Doula
Student doula

Student doula
Designation upon certification
CLD Certified Labor Doula
Other Notes
There are modifications or equivalents available for rural doulas, in case of limited or no local resources.

Online program; no in-person training available. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Birth Doula Training

A birth doula provides physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and partner during pregnancy, birth and early post-partum.

Begin or expand your birth business by attending this Birth Ways International Birth Doula Training. 

This interactive 16-hour course prepares you to become a birth doula and help a woman through labour, whether you want to support a friend through her birth or make a career choice.  You’ll leave with educational resources and hands-on practice.

At the end of this weekend, your view of birth, women, birth practices, and where the power resides will be transformed!

Birth Doula Training:

Times:  7-9pm (Fri night), 9:30-5:00pm (Sat & Sun)
Regina, SK 
(See "Upcoming Events" side-bar for future dates.)

Please contact us at to register. 

At current rates there will be over 4000 babies born in Regina over this year and only about 100 of those will be attended by a doula.  There’s certainly room for more doulas!! 

Topics include:
  • Practicing with integrity
  • Role and responsibilities of a doula, scope of practice
  • Key doula standards and professional ethics
  • Working effectively with medical care providers and others that attend the birth
  • Labour support tools, practical skills, comfort measures / coping methods
  • Common interventions and informed decision-making
  • Caesarean births and VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean)
  • Alternative / complimentary support methods
  • Self-awareness, including your motivation for doula work, your ideal client, your boundaries
  • Basic anatomy and physiology specific to labour and birth
  • Prenatal and postpartum client visits
  • Working with diverse clients/families/populations
  • Sensitivity and tools for working with client diversity
  • Coping & support of unexpected events
  • Basic breastfeeding initiation
  • Effective communication – listening skills, impact of language
  • Honouring individual birth process - memory of birth, narrative
  • Start-up and sustaining your practise (birth work business)

Some participants have been to births before but most haven’t.  Some are mothers and others are not.  We have young women, wise elders, and everything in between – it’s never too early or too late to embark upon this path.  Rural and urban women attend.  Some participants have no background knowledge or experience while others are healthcare professionals. 
If you wish to pursue certification through Birth Ways International, this course is the first step. 

I want to thank you again for the passing weekend. It was unbelievable, intense and really educational.

The combination of your passion, intuition, and vast amounts of knowledge was amazing, and I hope to learn more from you in the future. Thank you for having me and surrounding me with your love :)

I just want to take a minute to write to you and tell you how much of a pleasure it was to even get to meet you let alone be taught by you ! You are a huge inspiration to me, all of your stories and experience has empowered me into a different person, I am so honoured to have had the privilege to be in your class! Thanks for absolutely everything, all the hospitality and everything!
Thanks you so much again for the wonderful weekend. I am very happy that I decided to take part in the Doula course and found it to be such an enlightening, passionate and great experience! I really enjoyed it and look forward to working in the area and learning lots and lots more! Thanks again for everything.

I attended 2013 Doula workshop. The years of experience ,knowledge and wisdom on " Women Giving Birth". She is filled with a passion for Birthing and delivers with such enthusiasm and straight from the heart to the group. All the resources complied over the years to enable us to have a solid foundation to launch our desire to begin our Doula Practice. The atmosphere & energy at the workshop is uplifting, positive, FUN and full of encouragement !
I would rate my personal experience 10 out of 10 and very grateful for the opportunity to be taught  by this course!!