As birth and postpartum support professionals, we provide comfort, calm and help to new mothers and their families day and night in all types of weather and circumstances. But who supports us? DONA International is the doula for doulas providing support as we learn, establish our practice, assist our clients, navigate the health care system, grow as people and professionals, and connect with one another. Established by doulas and focused exclusively on the doula profession, DONA International has helped establish birth and postpartum support as a professional service and continues to evolve to support the doula community’s changing needs.
So what, exactly, does a DONA International membership provide?
Referrals – The DONA International website offers a searchable database of certified birth and postpartum doulas by location to help families find a doula.
References – The home office fields hundreds of calls each year from families seeking to confirm that a doula they are considering is a DONA International trained or certified doula.
Doula workshops – Comprehensive training by DONA approved trainers, which includes both the necessary information and skills to provide doula services as well as information on starting and operating a doula practice.
Continuing education – From DONA approved advanced doula workshops to the annual conference and webinars, on-going learning helps us keep our skills sharp, expand our practices, and be more successful. A quick search at dona.org is all that is needed to find an upcoming beginning or advanced workshop or the contact information for area trainers.
Communication – The beautiful quarterly International Doula magazine, regionally focused eDoula e-newsletters, Facebook page, Facebook group, and The DONA Doula Chronicles blog help us stay informed and connected across the globe.
Marketing support – From tips on how to hire a doula on the website and articles from the magazine that can be shared to topic sheets such as “Dads, Partners and Doulas” (also available online), DONA International provides information to inform families about the roles of doulas and the benefits of our services.
Professional recognition – As the most well-recognized doula organization in the world, DONA International is an authoritative source of information and guidelines on the doula profession. Being affiliated with DONA International can help provide legitimacy and respect for doulas in their communities with families and providers.
Should you ever have questions or needs, feel free to reach out. A full list of contacts at DONA is available here.
— Adrianne Gordon, CD(DONA)