What is Doula?
Doula is a Greek word that stands for a woman's servant who aids her during labour and childbirth. These days, the term refers to the trained birth companion of a pregnant woman, who plays a vital role in her support system. A doula does more than alleviate pain by recommending breathing techniques and different lying positions, as she also serves as an emotional anchor for the expectant couple as they await the arrival of their baby.
Doulas aren't hospital employees, nor are they midwives; they work directly with the couple, guiding them in making an educated decision about their birth preference. Their valuable help reduces the need for anaesthesia or the odds of delivering via caesarean section. Additionally, doulas prevent birth complications and increase the likelihood of a natural and positive birth experience.
Why Study Doula?
As the demand for birth doulas continues to increase, there has never been a better time to study to become one than now. As a trained doula, you can help couples tighten their bond while providing them with all the support they need to ensure a healthy baby and birth experience. And because you aren't employed with any hospital or clinic, you can collaborate with midwives, nurses, obstetricians and pediatricians. What's more, you have the flexibility to decide how many births to attend per month.
What Does It Take to Study Doula or Become a Practitioner of It?
Compassion and empathy are the top qualities of a doula. It's also important for you to be focused, committed and willing to embrace the highest standard of training. Studying with a certified doula instructor will equip you with the skills to provide every couple with the care, assistance and emotional support they need during the most exciting and critical time in their life, which is labour, childbirth and the weeks following it.
Course and Study Options for Doula
Doula training courses are usually delivered through short workshops or classes. Did you know that you can turn yourself into a full-fledged doula after only three or five days of training? Then again, this would depend on the program that you sign up for. If your training comes with other disciplines like yoga and meditation, it could take a month or so to complete.
Doula can be learnt in a face-to-face classroom setting, or you can choose an online environment that comes complete with all the training modules. Should you choose the latter, see to it that your school of choice offers a reliable platform where you can interact with classmates and instructors.
How to Choose a School or Course in Doula
Although not regulated in Australia, doulas are recognised by hospitals and midwives across the country. To become a qualified doula, see to it that you receive your training from a course provider whose curriculum conforms to the standards of professional associations for birth and postpartum doulas.
You'll find at the top of this page Australia's most reputable training providers for aspiring doulas. Check out and compare their offerings to see which of them aligns with your goals. Better yet, you could contact your preferred school and enquire about the details of their program, including the tuition fees, delivery platform and duration. While at it, find out more about their trainers because you definitely want someone who can hone your skills to become a reliable doula.