Natural childbirth methods are being embraced by more women worldwide, and this has opened up a new world for people with knowledge about holistic, or medical ways to ease the birthing process, and this is where a Doula can play an important role.
To become a Doula in Ontario, you will need to attend a legally recognized doula workshop to earn a certificate that is valid for four years.
Doulas generally help to prepare mothers physically, and mentally for their new babies, provide support during labour and delivery, and give advice and assistance after the baby is born. Working with babies makes being a Doula a demanding career, but it can also be very rewarding.
How To Become A Doula In Ontario
1. To start, you will have to attend a The Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) approved birth doula workshop to earn your certificate (the certification is valid for four years).
2. You must be a current member of CAPPA International (a $100 membership fee is required) and also complete all the designated online course work (onsite workshop and self-study)
3. You will purchase a CAPPA International Birth Doula Certification Packet for $50, fill and submit the completed Certification Packet, supporting documents, and the certification processing fee of $110.
4. You will have to agree to and sign the CAPPA International Birth Doula Code of Ethics, and CAPPA International Birth Doula Standards of Practice. After these steps, you can proceed to the prepared doula coursework.
5. You will be required to obtain 16 approved Educational Units (6 of which must be on breastfeeding-related topics),
and provide a written summary of your work experience.
6. You will need certification in Standard First Aid and CPR level C.
7. You will be required to provide birth support to three families and submit evaluations from the families, as well as a written summary of how you supported (in your words). The evaluations can be done in-person, or remotely (virtual support).
8. You will have to complete five community assignments and two business projects.
9. You will have to achieve a minimum grade of 80% on all module quizzes, and achieve a minimum grade of 85% on the online final examination.
There are some extra courses you can apply for which can help take your career to the next level;
- Effective communication in the doula profession.
- Postpartum physiology and the recovery process.
- Postpartum relationships, nutrition for the family, and healthy habits.
- Advocacy and client-directed care.
- Creating successful doula business practices, contracts, and client relations.
Online doula training programmes cost between $300 to $1,500 for an entire certification course, and the certification courses to become a doula can take up to a year to complete.You can also become a postpartum doula, and work with new mums throughout the period after birth. The postpartum period is the first 6 weeks after childbirth.
Essentially, you will help ease the after-effects of childbirth for your client through the application of verified information, and evidence-based methods(working with a list of do’s and don’ts curated from long years of experience).
Some of the duties you will carry out as a postpartum doula are;
1. You will offer to breastfeed knowledge, support, and assistance to new mums
2. Help with core newborn care activities, such as diaper changes, naps, burping, and mealtimes.
3. You will provide your client with resources to related care services, such as birthing classes, child emotional psychology, or a lactation consultant.
4. You will help your client’s family learn soothing and bonding methods, to help them become comfortable with the baby.
5. Help with the general care of the baby so that clients can have some personal time off to take a shower, nap, or eat a meal.
6. You will provide your client with post-birth comfort measures.
7. You will offer physical support to help your client recover from a cesarean delivery or a stressful delivery.
8. You will act as a cook for the postpartum stipulated time, and help make breakfast, lunch, dinner, or healthy snacks.
9. You may also have to take care of light household cleaning duties, such as dishwashing, tidying up, dry cleaning, and laundry.
10. You will keep your client hydrated, refreshed, and comfortable throughout this period.
11. Additional services can include, playing with older children, supervising playtime, helping with bedtime and naptime.
What Are The Duties Of A Doula?
1. Meeting with the client, and providing useful prenatal or postnatal information.
2. Providing holistic support solutions, and general community supports.
3. Providing solutions and support for postpartum mood concerns.
4. Supporting newborn babies, and families with their childcare unique needs.
5. Providing breastfeeding, and alternative feeding support, plus information on healthy meals to clients.
6. Developing a birth plan which is a statement of what your client wants when labour begins. This includes who the mother may want present at the birth, whether there should be fetal monitoring, administering of epidurals, and other pain killers.
7. As a doula, you will provide support and encouragement, by being physically present with your client.
8. You will teach your clients relaxation and breathing techniques that can help ease some of the stress and pain of childbirth.
9. Visiting the home of your clients even after the birthing process, to continue providing practical and emotional support.
How Much Can I Make As A Doula In Ontario?
The average annual salary for a Birth Doula in Ontario is $41,259 a year, or approximately $19.84 per hour and $793/week.
Some Doulas can charge as much as $300 per hour, depending on your level of experience, and quality of services rendered.
Are Doulas Regulated In Ontario?
Doulas are recognized as a professional body. The Association of Ontario Doulas (AOD) currently represents all professional and traditionally trained doulas in the province of Ontario.
Which doula training programmes are the best in Ontario?
To get the best practical knowledge on becoming a Doula in Ontario, you can get your training from the following accredited institutes:
1. Doula Training International
2. Madriella Doula Network
3. International Doula Institute
4. Childbirth International
5. BEST (Business, Ethics, Sustainability, Together) Doula Training.