What to Expect at a DoulaVersity Training Workshop

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With DoulaVersity our doula training workshops are supplemental to your doula training (and not required).  However, there are so many benefits to attending an in-person training!  Our students will walk away from the training with all the tools and skills necessary to start your doula career.  You will laugh, you will learn, and you will become a trained doula.  

Here are some tips and information on what to expect during the three-day workshop. 

We start on time, so please be punctual! 

Please arrive about 10-15 minutes early on the first day. This gives us a few minutes to get to know each other before the workshop begins.  We start on time, so please be punctual. Here is our schedule:

Day 1:
Start time: 9:00am
Lunch:  12:30-1:30
End time:  6:00pm

Day 2
Start time: 9:00am
Lunch:  1:00-2:00
End time:  6:00pm

Day 3
Start time:  1:00pm
End time:  6:30pm

Filling your minds and stomachs:

Our three-day workshops are quite intensive.  We provide one-hour lunch breaks on both day one and two of the workshop.  (The final day of the workshop starts after lunch, so eat before you come)!  Besides lunch breaks, we will have short (5-15 minutes) breaks before and after lunch.

Lunches: You are welcome to order in, eat what we bring, leave for lunch or bring your own! If you would like to bring anything else to snack, eat, drink you are welcome to do so. There is a fridge, microwave, and stove that we will be able to utilize.  

Here is a list of foods we provide for snacks and daily lunches:

Fruit tray, sandwich stuff (meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, avocados, buns) hummus, crackers, croissants, and muffins.  We will supply water and coffee too!

We have some restaurants and a grocery store all within a 4.5 mile radius of our workshop location.

Dress comfy, but be ready for pictures!

On day two of the workshop, we will be practicing a myriad of comfort measures both from the doula’s perspective as well as the laboring client.  We will be doing a lot of bending, squatting and leaning.  We love to take photos of our doulas in action throughout the workshop.  Some of these will be shared online (with your permission), so dress accordingly!  
 

Babies in Arms are Welcome:  

Babies under 6 months are welcome at the workshop. Please be mindful of others while they are learning.  We have a 10 second rule.  If baby is fussy for more than 10 seconds, please leave the classroom area and come back after baby settles.  We love babies, but we want our students to be able to focus. Toys that rattle, beep, and squawk may also be distracting, so please leave those at home. 

Possible Trigger Warnings!

Our workshop will cover a vast amount of information and it’s not always roses and babies.  We will be discussing harder topics such as stillbirth, miscarriage, and traumatic birth situations.  Students who have been through any birth(s) that have not been processed, may find emotions welling up to the surface.  We are here for you and recognize births are emotional on any level and welcome you to share your stories with us.   For those of you who have been through a difficult birth situation, please feel free to discuss this with Trisha or Christy prior to the training.

DoulaVersity Swag for Sale:

Throughout the training we will offer some of our popular doula tools for sale:

  • Birth doula reference cards

  • Birth planning activity  

  • Birth Balls

  • Peanut ball posters

  • Labor tool-kits

  • “Understanding Birth” and “Mother and Baby Care” booklets

  • DoulaVersity swag (t-shirts, tote bags, pens, etc).  

You are welcome to call or email for pricing and of course, they will be available to students after the workshop as well.  We accept cash, check, PayPal and Venmo.  

We can’t wait to meet you!

  

Do you have questions about the training schedule and topics?
Check out our topics (and schedule) on the right hand side of the page:  https://doulaversity.com/doula-workshop/

Register today at https://doulaversity.com/register/

What Kind of Birth Do You Really Want?

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Congratulations - you’re pregnant!!  What kind of birth do you desire?  In a hospital?  Out of the hospital?  Medicated?  Unmedicated?

You have a ton of choices for your labor and birth.  You do not know about your choices unless you discover them! Is your care provider *really* in line with the type of birth you desire?

Imagine for a moment - that you are planning your wedding on a beach in Cozumel, Mexico. You have rented a beautiful all-inclusive five star resort, based on the reviews your friends and a little bit of Googling provided you.  It didn’t cross your mind to speak with anyone FROM Cozumel or hire a travel agent.  You’ve planned your wedding down to the last detail, and you can’t wait to see how it will all unfold. You’ve got this!  

Unfortunately, your airline has a bad reputation for over-booking flights, and the date you had planned to fly out has now been canceled.  Your airline tells you that you have to leave a week earlier than planned.  It goes downhill from there. The five start hotel you had planned on staying at is no longer an option.  You are stuck with a two star - at best.  You make due because you try to make the best out of the circumstances, but the final straw ends at your reception dinner.  You had arranged to serve your guests steak and shrimp - the caterer told you from the beginning - "That's a great choice, we can do that"...However, as you sit down to eat you realize they have made chicken fried steak with crawfish.  Why?  Because their version of steak is different than your version of steak. 

While this is hypothetical, it is a general scenario for a birth.  You think you are arriving at a hospital for an unmedicated or your ideal birth, allowing certain people in the room, dim lights,  freedom to move around, etc and NOTHING like that happens. 

There are over a 100 options available for your birth planning, and many of them you may not have heard of before.  

How do you learn those options?  

  • Hire a doula! Doulas are familiar with your hospital and most likely your provider.

  • Take a quality childbirth education class - not just the hospital classes.  No matter what kind of research you have done, you need a deeper insight.  You will learn things you didn’t know you needed to know.  Your instructor may have some insight on the birth practices on your hospital and possibly even your provider.  Once you know what kind of birth you really want, you can talk to your provider and see if they will be supportive.  

This is where it gets tough. While some providers are upfront and honest about how they practice - and will tell you in advance that they can’t provide some of the things that are important to you - some are not as transparent.  It might be that many doctors have good intentions, and really do mean it when they say “Oh yeah, we can do all of that”, but if they really only do those things *some of the time*, and make it sound as if that is the norm, you might come away from your birth feeling cheated and lied to. This.happens.every.day.

This is where doulas come in helpful:  If you sit down with your doula and say "I want this kind of birth, do you know if I can REALLY get this with my provider and my hospital?" They just might be able to provide you with the hard truths.  If you don't ask, she may not tell you because she wants to support you and not alienate you from your provider.  It can be a fine line to walk for doulas as they try to create relationships with providers, while also helping and fully supporting their clients.  Your doula will most likely know if your flight is going to be moved up, and if your caterer considers chicken fried steak the equivalent of filet mignon.  If you are okay with that, so is she! She will support you with all of your choices.  Just know, that they are more familiar with the birth practices at certain places than your friends and Google.  

Some people don’t care what happens, as long as they just get married!  The commonly used phrase - we just want "a healthy mom, and a healthy baby" - there is nothing wrong with this approach to birth.  If that’s you, that’s okay!

We just want parents to know that there are options - some they may not have known existed.  Furthermore, it can be hard to navigate unplanned situations as well.  Having someone by your side to help you no matter what the circumstances helps you accept the things you couldn’t change.  This can be both empowering and help prevent post-traumatic stress from undesired birth outcomes.


A doula is like your travel agent and wedding planner.  She can help you learn about your birth options and help you to find out what is most important for you.  She can then guide you on ways to build your birth plan and navigate those unseen delays, twists, and turns while empowering you to speak with your provider about those important choices that you and your partner desire during your birth.  

Studies show that when women receive continuous support from a doula, they are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births, less likely to have pain medication, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, negative feelings about childbirth, and their chances of having a cesarean were reduced!   In addition, their labors were shorter, Pitocin augmentation, was used less,  and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth and had less risk of needing to go to the NICU.

The studies also showed that the best results occurred when woman had continuous labor support from a doula–and not someone from the mother's social network, or someone provided by the hospital staff.   --2012, Hodnett et al.
 

Know your options, hire a doula, and take a quality childbirth education course!




 

Written by:

Trisha Blizzard

DoulaVersity, Founder

Christy Carlson
DoulaVersity, Co-Founder

Me and My Shadow

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As a brand new doula I was eager to experience a birth but not fully ready to ‘fly solo’.  When I learned I could  shadow with an experienced doula,  I was beyond getty!

I remember riding with Trisha to the Prenatal meeting to meet the family.  The parents were excited to meet me and even showed me around their home and the baby’s nursery. I could tell this expectant family had already welcomed not only Trisha into their birthing circle but myself as well.  During the final Prenatal visit, I watched Trisha cover basic baby tips such as how to care for their newborn, swaddling, and answering general questions about when she would arrive for labor.  

It was a few weeks later when labor began for this client and Trisha and I arrived together.  (She labored at home for a number of hours, until she was ready to head to her birthing location).  I watched Trisha support her, helped refill water bottles, observed the mother and father as they labored  together.  This was the birth where I fell in love with birth photography … this family asked if I would take a few photos of their labor and birth - I reluctantly agreed as had never photographed a birth before! This was the role they wanted for me.  

Being a shadow doula is filled with eager, excitement and freedom.  On one hand, you are feeling as if I am ready to do this “let me fly” and yet on other hand thinking “I don’t have a clue what I am doing” I can’t imagine ever being solo”.  When you observe the other doula in her ‘lane’ supporting her client and she’s doing it so effortlessly and naturally - that’s when you realize you are in the right place.  I had no idea that day that two dreams would be coming to pass but as I mentally and physically captured the birth of a sweet baby girl I knew that another door was being opened for me.  

So as you shadow and begin your doula career listen to that inner voice - who knows what else you may be called to... Some doulas will find they want more, becoming birth assistants or midwives. Others may end up adding to their doula business by becoming childbirth educators, postpartum doulas and the like...The future is up to you. We hope you find your niche as you grow in the business of birth!  The birth world is a precious space to step into, just understand whether you are primary or a shadowing doula,  your presence is valued and equally important.  

 

--Written by Christy Carlson,
Co-founder of DoulaVersity  

10 Reasons to Certify with DoulaVersity

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At DoulaVersity we know that you have many options when it comes to pursuing your doula certification program. 

Here are some reasons why you should consider us for your training:
 

1.  Get started with your doula training minutes after you register! 
No waiting for a manual in the mail, it’s online and waiting for you. Once you register, you will get an email and all you have to do is click a button and you will have immediate access to your online training!  DoulaVersity students do NOT have to attend a doula training workshop first – and in fact we ask students to complete modules 1-5 before attending a doula training workshop, if they plan to attend one at all.
 

2.  Attend a workshop when you can - if you can (but it's not required)!
We think our doulas will benefit tremendously from attending one of our doula training workshops.  However, for some it just isn’t feasible.  We get that.  We do not make it a requirement. Our online labor doula training will provide you with enough videos, pictures and written instruction that you will feel like you have attended the workshop in person!  However, each doula package that we provide gives students a certain amount of time to attend one of our trainings within a certain amount of time – and we encourage you to join us!  

The Basic Doula Package – allows students up to two years to attend a training from the day of their enrollment.

The Business Starter Package – allows one free pass for up to five years (providing they are in good standing and currently training or certified with DoulaVersity).

The DoulaVersity Professional Package – allows UNLIMITED passes for LIFE on our doula training workshops.
 

3.  We have more certifications and training's coming! 
We hope to add the following trainings to help you add to your doula certification skills:

  • Become a Certified Childbirth Educator through our Certified Childbirth Educator Training
  • Become a Certified Postpartum Doula – through our Postpartum Doula Training
  • Become a Bengkung Belly Binding Specialist – through our Bengkung Belly Binding Training
  • Become proficient in the use of TENS in labor – through our TENS in Labor Training for Birth Professionals
  • Become well versed in breastfeeding basics– through our Breastfeeding 101 for birth professionals (plans for an advanced breastfeeding 102 as well)!

Finally, down the road, we have a training that is unprecedented among doula organizations.  Obviously, we will keep it under wraps to torture you until we are ready to roll it out – but it’s going to be a very unique and specialized training that will make you stand out even more against your peers!
 

4.  We are thorough.  
You don’t need to KNOW a lot to become a doula, but many doulas leave their doula trainings with a lot to learn.  We want our doulas to be ready to walk out the door and conquer the DoulaVerse!  Our students will know:

  • What they need to start their business and grow their business

  • What is in scope, and how to work within those parameters  

  • Interviews and email etiquette – basic communication and how to build a rapport with your clients (and potential clients)

  • Ideas on how to facilitate prenatal and postpartum visits  - you will know what to cover and how to facilitate those meetings!

  • Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and birth

  • Pregnancy - learn about the growing baby and the mother.  Everything from growth to prenatal tests and procedures along with their benefits and risks.   

  • All about labor and birth:  Everything you need to know from stages of labor to medications.  

  • Comfort measures and optimum fetal positioning – Skills to help your client have an easier birth.

  • How to work with nurses and other care providers

  • How to reduce the cesarean rates

  • Skills and techniques to help you help your clients with various birth situations that are a little outside of ‘normal’ (i.e.  What can you try when a baby ‘won’t engage’?)

  • Pregnancy and birth complications (such as pre-eclampsia, placenta previa etc)

  • Supporting VBACS, and twin births

  • The postpartum mother:  Understanding the emotional and physiological changes in the first hours to the first few weeks after birth.  Plus an intro to helping the mother latch her newborn immediately after the birth.   

  • Newborn basics:  Getting to know the newborn - from normal rashes to newborn tests and procedures.

  • You will learn how to support clients in every birth setting (home to hospital).  Our doulas will learn how to provide non-judgmental support in every type of birth from unmedicated to an elective cesarean.

  • The above list is NOT exhaustive, and doesn’t even list the sub-topics!  Students will learn as they read through all 15 modules, and reinforce learning through mock email scenarios, quizzes, essays and more.  Not to mention the required Spinning Babies Parent Class, and other requirements that will arm our doulas with knowledge and confidence by the time they are certified.
     

5. Mentoring each step of the way:
We are right here with you!  Both Trisha and Christy, the founder and co-founders of DoulaVersity, are right here with you each step of the way.  Students have access to our private Facebook mentoring group, and of course we are always just an email away as well!  As we grow, you will be assigned your personal mentor to help you get through your training.  We want to watch you grow and succeed!
 

6. Already trained as a doula? 
Do you feel like your doula training left you a little confused or lacking in a certain area – OR –  do you just want to add to your knowledge and skills?  It’s easy to cross-certify with DoulaVersity!

We are confident you will learn a ton of new things when you train with us!  You will also get the discounts on all the other trainings and certifications as we roll them out.  Besides all that, you have the option of attending one of our awesome doula training workshops – and let’s face it, they are always fun and informative!  You will build your worth as a doula because it looks good on your doula resume when you add to your skill set.  Your clients will thank you!

Plus - it's easy! We know your situation is unique, so we do not have a ‘one size fits all’ recertification process.  When you inquire about cross-certification we will ask you a few questions and help you determine what is needed to certify through us.  Everyone will work their way through the online training, take the Spinning Babies Parent Class, etc - but the number of books and births you need will depend on what you have done in the past 18 months. You can read our full requirements here:

https://doulaversity.com/crosscertification/
 

7. Time:
We give you plenty of time to get certified.  We give students access to our online doula training for 2 years.  If life gets in the way, and you need more time – all you have to do is ask!  We will extend out your training one more year – free of charge.
 

8. We give you more than a training - we give you stuff too!
Depending on the package you choose, your training will include some tangible items to help you along your journey:

Even the basic doula package includes a listing on our ‘find a doula’ website to help get your name out there to potential clients.  The Spinning Babies Parent class, although required will give you a head start on an advanced set of skills that some doulas never learn.  Plus six months video access to quality, evidenced based pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn information.  

Other packages include even more - from labor tool kits, tote bags, t-shirts, consultations via phone and Skype with a doula trainer, handouts, contract samples, birth planning activity cards, and our soon to be famous birth doula reference cards - we have STUFF packaged in with our doula packages.  Choose the package that best suits your business starting needs!
 

9.  You can live anywhere in the world and become certified! 
You don’t have to live in Fort Worth, Texas to become certified.  We are an international doula organization and we look forward to training doulas all around the globe. Eventually, we will have our trainings available in several different languages.  Yeah, we plan to make a WORLD of difference!
 

10.  Re-certifications are easy and affordable: 
We do require recertification every three years – but we make it easy and have three options!  Recertification gives your clients the peace of mind that you are continually learning and updating your skill set.  There is always something to be learned, and evidenced based birth practices are continually updated.  

Here are the options we have for recertification: 

Option #1:

  • Sign code of ethics and grievance policy
  • Attend 1 birth, and provide self evaluation form, and client evaluation form
  • Read 1 book and submit book report summary
  • Take 1 advanced training class or course

Option #2 (for those who don’t like reading books):

  • Sign code of ethics and grievance policy
  • Attend 2 births, and provide self evaluation forms, and client evaluation forms
  • Take 2 advanced training classes/courses
     

Option #3 (for those who weren’t able to attend any births)

  • Sign code of ethics and grievance policy
  • Take 2 advanced training classes/courses
  • Read 3 books and submit book report summary for each

Book reading: Books can be anything related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding or newborn care

Recertification fee is affordable:  $150
Students have the option to break up the payments into $50 a year.
We also offer a $25 credit towards your
recertification for every student you refer who enrolls with us!  Your recertification fees can easily pay for itself in this way!


We look forward to helping you build your doula career!  Sign up today!  

5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Doula

 

The process of becoming a doula isn’t hard, because doulas do not do anything medical.  
Working as a doula is probably the hardest work you’ll ever love.  Here are 5 reasons why you should become a doula!  
 

1) You Will Make a Difference

Studies show that when women receive continuous support from a doula they are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births, less likely to have pain medication, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, negative feelings about childbirth,  and their chances of having a cesarean were reduced!   In addition, their labors were shorter, Pitocin augmentation was used less, and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth and had less risk of needing to go to the NICU.

Studies compared women giving birth with and without a doula, and the results were clear:  The best birth outcomes occurred when women had a continuous support from a doula, and NOT from someone else such as a hospital staff, friend or relative.  --2012, Hodnett et al.

2) You Will Get to Witness the Miracle of Birth (without having the responsibility of safety for mom and baby)!

If you find yourself glued to every TV show or movie that has a birth in it, you may find that you are in love with the birth process.  Imagine being able to be part of that without having to be the one getting who gets the birth goo all over them.  If the baby is experiencing complications, you aren’t the one making life dependant decisions, your role is to simply support the mother and hold her hand.  
 

3) It's not just about birth:

You will help provide information before and after the birth.  You can help parents feel more confident about their parenting skills, and create a stronger family unit in the process.  Your impact is often life long!
 

4) You Get Paid to do Something You are Passionate About

The salary you make depends on you.  You are in charge of how many births you want to take a month.  You decide if you want to own your own business, or work for an agency, or start your own agency.  You can make $12,000 or $50,000, and even six figures if you put some elbow grease into it.  
 

5) The World Needs More Doulas!

In a 2006 survey that took place in the U.S., only 3% of women said they used a doula during childbirth (Declerq et al., 2007). If doulas can reduce cesarean rates, and ultimately decrease the mortality rates for mothers and babies – wouldn’t it be nice if there were more doulas to go around?  

Are you ready to make a difference?  Join DoulaVersity today!

Hello, World!

The Birth of DoulaVersity

My work as a doula, childbirth educator and a birth assistant have been a constant source of grounding and confidence in my abilities to educate and empower not only families, but others in the birth arena as well.   I’ve had mentored many doulas through the years, and cherished every moment.

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