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Can anyone recommend a doula training?

(13 Posts)
TheSnickeringFox Wed 22-Jun-11 12:20:54

I'm contemplating training as a doula, all recommendations and warnings appreciated!

Ta smile

spudulika Wed 22-Jun-11 14:59:08

NCT Birth Companions is probably the most comprehensive university accredited course.


I did the Nurturing Birth course, which I really enjoyed and thought was well taught.

squiggleywiggler Wed 22-Jun-11 15:27:22

I also did Nurturing Birth and hear brilliant things about Developing Doulas too.

Think about what you want to get out of the training, what style of learning you have etc as all the courses are different.

It's also worth looking at which are accredited by Doula UK. IMO a really important organisation to be part of if you're a doula (though there are some lovely doulas who aren't DUK members too).

pippala Wed 22-Jun-11 21:39:04

I also did the three day course with nurturing birth.
However I was not impressed with the training. I have posted my reasons on here a few times and have received abusive PM's from the course trainer acusing me of lying.
We are all of course entitled to our views but I felt it was over priced and will not actually lead to any gainful employment as a doula. You may as well advertise yourself as doula and save yourself the money. It consisted of three days of women debriefing their births, much like a coffee morning. Except everyone seemed completely mesmerised by this wonderful doula guru.
I agree the NCT birth companions course is a much better learning to becoming a doula and obviously highly respected.
I guess you get what you pay for and nurturing birth is one of the cheapest courses and the shortest.

squiggleywiggler Wed 22-Jun-11 23:37:20

Just to say that while Pippala is totally entitled to her opinion, she does seem to have a bit of bee in her bonnet about Nurturing Birth and always posts on these threads with something similar.

I thought it was a great course and has led me to lots of gainful employment as a doula - I've been fully booked for months ahead for a good while. They also have a great support forum and a really good community of doulas for ongoing learning.

There's an upcoming study day with Michel Odent which they are organising so there's a commitment to ongoing learning and the woman who runs Nurturing Birth took the trouble to post me a book I was finding it tricky to track down when I was a new doula.

I haven't done the NCT course (neither has Pippala unless I'm much mistaken). I'm sure it's a good course, but it isn't approved by Doula UK and also I would question the need for a university accredited course as a doula. We are deliberately lay people with skills that aren't academic.

But as I said find out (as you are doing) about them all and work out what fits for you. Like doulas, there's a course out there for everyone.

Good luck!

TheSnickeringFox Thu 23-Jun-11 07:11:57

Thanks for all your responses. Food for thought.

May I ask those of you working as doulas how much work you do, how long it has taken you to become established and how it fits into your life? Do you do other jobs alongside, fit it in with being a SAHM etc?

squiggleywiggler Thu 23-Jun-11 09:11:31

I take on 1 birth a month and often another with a back-up doula engaged in case there's a clash.

I'm in London so there's lots of work and I could work all the time if I wanted to, but it is a bit tiring being on call constantly so I take breaks every few months.

I look after my 16 month old 90% of the time. I do meetings in the evenings and at weekends wherever possible and do emails etc during naps. It does make for some long days so she goes to the childminder on an ad hoc basis when I need some time to get stuff done - not more than once a week and often much less.

You'll need to think v carefully about childcare - you need to have childcare that you can access last minute all the time when on call.

I also do some writing and plan to do more antenatal support stuff and breastfeeding support when she's a bit older.

TheSnickeringFox Thu 23-Jun-11 21:10:46

I am very lucky to have enough family nearby to be on hand for emergency (and ad hoc!) childcare smile

Can I ask, do you make a living (a modest one even)?

Looking around, doula-ing seems to go well with other ante- and post-natal services like massage, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing etc, so I guess that while it would take time to establish yourself it could eventually pay a decent wage. Tbh it's the money that's most daunting. I'm well paid currently, just not fulfilled!

Not in London btw ;)

Thanks so much for your answers, it's fascinating reading!

TheSnickeringFox Thu 23-Jun-11 21:12:29

Oh pants, I always forget it's [ wink ], not ;)

(⌒-⌒; )

TheSnickeringFox Thu 23-Jun-11 21:13:12

Eh, I mean wink of course.

Third time lucky and all that!

lia66 Thu 23-Jun-11 23:26:48

I have 6 children and manage to fit in my work with the help of very very good friends that i can call on at a moments notice. I have to say i have rarely neede to do that though, there is often a warning of some kind.

If you are well paid, I would say that you will probably not make as much as you earn now as the whole way of a doula is that you are on call for up to a 4 wk period, so therefore can't take on many clients at the same time. I know many doulas, especially London, ( I am Kent) do shared care enabling them to take on more than one couple at at time. I rarely share so can only book one couple per 4 wk period therefore my fee is capped per month.

I am about to do babycalm training and so hope to run that alongside my doula work, especially as I have a very young baby and so am not working at the oment

Nurturing birth is a great course, the women are fantastic and the community is very supportive. DUK is good to join too as you have guidleines and expectations, to give you focus.

Good luck

TheSnickeringFox Sat 25-Jun-11 20:49:34

Wow Lia, six kids. That's what I call experience grin

Very interesting idea about shared care <start of an idea brewing>

Can I ask how you have all found working with midwives and othe
HCPs? Are they generally supportive of what you do or is there a lot of antagonism? Am very clear on the boundaries re the type of support a doula offers, btw.

crikeybadger Mon 01-Aug-11 22:31:11

Just bumping this as I'm interested in doula training too.

I've tried to find out some info about the NCT birth companions course but can't seem to get to the right page. I see they charge women £600/£800 for the service, but what does the doula get paid?

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