--By Rachel Brinker, MA
CD Postpartum (ProDoula)
Today I completed the final requirement and received word from ProDoula, my doula organization, that I am now a CERTIFIED postpartum doula. This is something I've been working toward for over 15 months and it feels good to have accomplished my goal!
Many people attend doula trainings and use the knowledge they gain from those in-person training to do great work supporting women and families. Some people attend a doula training and have no intention of pursuing certification. They just want the knowledge from the training so they can help support friends and family, and are happy to stop there. There are others who begin the certification process but never complete the requirements for one reason or another, but continue to work professionally as a doula. Completing the entire certification process, and maintaining that certification over the years, indicates a certain level of professionalism, commitment, and expertise. Families who want the best of the best will look for doulas who are current and active members of a doula organization and who are actively completing and/or maintaining their certification requirements.
At Proud Mama Support Services, all our doulas are actively working on their certification and will have completed all the requirements within a year of joining our team.
All our doulas are pursuing certification through either ProDoula or DONA International.
What does certification entail? Here's a brief summary:
Besides the knowledge and competency gained through certification, families also benefit when their doulas are certified through an organization that has a clear grievance procedure. Having a grievance policy in place gives families, as well as anyone else, a path for recourse should a doula fail to meet the standards of professionalism and code of ethics laid out by his or her certifying organization.
I am proud to be certified with ProDoula, and am continuing to also work on my DONA certification as well. It's just one of the ways Proud Mama Support Services delivers on our mission to provide top-quality care to families as they transition to life with a newborn.