I Learn - What's Your Superpower?There is no doubt that doulas lead very busy lives. Our schedules are made more hectic by the nature of what we do – waiting for babies who are not known to abide by anyone’s calendar. Finding time and opportunities to get the continuing education we need to stay up to date and certified can be a significant challenge. Thankfully, DONA accepts a number of activities for recertification.

To help you sort through them, The DONA Doula Chronicles will have a series of posts on options. We’re starting with attending events, which include conferences, trainings, workshops and meetings – anything that includes face to face interaction. Keep in mind that often the presenter or organizer of the event needs to sign a form for the hours to count and additional supporting documentation must be submitted with your recertification application. So read on to learn more about recertification contact hour options and requirements and conquer the contact hours!

Education Events Offering Contact Hours by Approved Organizations – An event doesn’t have to offer DONA International contact hours to qualify toward your recertification continuing education requirement. College and university courses, for example, may count as do events or workshops offering ICEA or National Association of Social Workers contact hours. Your local Area Health Education Center or community college could be the solution to your continuing education needs! See the full list of approved programs and organizations from which DONA accepts contact hours here.

Educational Events Not Offering Contact Hours – Workshops, seminars, and presentations for perinatal professionals that don’t offer contact hours from an approved organization can provide valuable learning and are great for networking. Events such as presentations on postpartum depression or pregnancy nutrition workshops may count for up to 5 hours of your continuing education. (Alternative Option B-1)

Support Group Meetings – Up to five contact hours may be earned through attendance at meetings of support groups related to the childbearing year or parenting. ICAN meetings, parents of multiples groups and pregnancy after loss group meetings can help doulas expand their ability to support families and increase awareness of community resources. (Alternative Option B-4)

DONA Approved Birth or Postpartum Workshop – Train in a second doula role to expand your practice or repeat a workshop with a different trainer to refresh your knowledge. Each doula trainer has a unique approach to her workshop, so going back to school again can provide new methods of explaining concepts to clients, updated research and statistics, and a renewed passion for your work after being surrounded by the enthusiasm of women embarking on their doula career. (Alternative Option B-5)

Tip: Before you attend an event, review the appropriate Alternatives to Continuing Education document on the DONA International website (links below) to determine whether you will be able to use it for your recertification continuing education, and if yes, print Form B and take it with you, so you’ll have it on hand for the required signature. Take great notes and get to learning!

Birth doula recertification: http://www.dona.org/PDF/Birth%20Recertification_Alternatives%20to%20Continuing%20Education_0113.pdf

Postpartum doula recertification: http://www.dona.org/PDF/Postpartum%20Recertification_Alternatives%20to%20Continuing%20Education_0113.pdf

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