On this 11th day of International Doula Month, we thought it would be fitting to highlight an incredible milestone for doulas: DONA International has certified its 11,000th doula!

11000Congratulations to Stacey Lassnig of Morden, Mannitoba, Canada newly minted certified birth doula! In a truly international connection, Stacey’s certification materials were reviewed by Elena Carillo Flores of Mexico. We asked each doula a few questions to learn more about them as we celebrate the growth and reach of the DONA International community.

Name: Stacey Lassnig, CD(DONA)
Trained by Jenn Fontaine and Tami Tozeland in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 2014
Number of births attended to date: 10
Why she became a doula: “I became a doula because I wanted every mother to have a birth that was as beautiful to them as mine was to me. My doula was a warm, strong, beautiful, caring, intelligent woman that helped me feel safe and sure during my births. I wanted to give this sense of strength and peace to as many women as I could.”
Plans for the future: “In the future I would consider becoming a trainer, but as of this point my hands are full with two young children and two businesses of my own. I love being a doula and I hope that I will continue to feel this way about my work.”

Every application for certification (often referred to as a certification packet within the DONA International community), is reviewed by another doula to ensure the packet is complete and that all requirements have been met. Certification packet reviewers are volunteers who give of their time to help support a professional standard for doulas. They first spend 2 -3 hours reviewing the documents provided by the certification candidate. Then the reviewer contacts all of the candidate’s references. Additional time is needed to communicate with the certification candidate if there are questions or if additional information is needed.  Stacey’s packet reviewer, Elena, tells us a little about herself and why she volunteers as a reviewer:

Name: Elena Carillo Flores
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Certified doula since: 2004
Certification packet reviewer since: 2006
Estimated number of packets reviewed: Around 500!
Why she volunteers as a reviewer: “I volunteer as a reviewer because I love working with new doulas and helping them through their certification process. I admire their passion and commitment. It is fascinating to witness how proud they become when they are finally able to use the CD(DONA) credential after their name. Most of all, I enjoy the opportunity to be able to get in touch with fellow doulas from around the world.”

Certification with DONA International
Certification demonstrates a standard of training and experience that promotes the role of doulas to families and the medical community as professional support providers. And, like any doula with CD(DONA) or PCD(DONA) after their name will tell you, it takes time and dedication to achieve and maintain this level of professional credentials. You can find out more about the requirements for certification for birth doulas and postpartum doulas on the DONA International website.

Note: If you’re sharing this post via social media, don’t forget to use the hashtags #IDM15 and #DONAIntl. Happy International Doula Month!