Get Involved: Make a difference in the big picture
As the doula role becomes more well-known, doulas worldwide are getting involved in efforts to educate the public and bring awareness to the benefits of doula support.
Recently, DONA International leaders represented its members at a Maternity Care Caucus held on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. It was a great opportunity for DONA International to have a seat at the table as we look at ways to improve maternal and fetal outcomes, but this is just one example of how we can work toward our common goals. There are many ways for individual doulas to get involved in a big or small way.
Just around the corner is a great opportunity for doulas to promote your work and the doula profession as a whole. In May of each year we come together to celebrate International Doula Month. Across the globe, doulas use IDM as an opportunity to educate the public, connect with potential clients, and raise awareness about how doula support can impact a birthing and postpartum family. Now is a great time to begin strategizing how you will celebrate #IDM17, and here are a few ideas to get you started!
Get Involved with the Media:
This year, DONA International will be providing a media release for our doulas to utilize to contact their local media outlets. May is a great month to push for that interview on your local TV station, to get on a podcast you’ve been listening to, or to have a print publication feature doulas. It never hurts to reach out to your local reporters and bloggers to encourage coverage of International Doula Month and doulas! The DONA International Director of Public Relations, Melissa Harley, email@example.com, is available to help.
Get Involved in a Baby Fair:
What could be better than meeting new and expectant parents on a spring morning at a beautiful table that you’ve adorned with your doula marketing materials? Many communities offer baby fairs as a local resource for families. This may be the year for you to jump in and participate, or get a group together to host your own. Here are a few tips for making your booth a success:
- Plan ahead and update your marketing materials now- the DONA Office Depot/Office Max discount can help (for US DONA members).
- Look for sales to get that new banner for your backdrop, or get creative with what you have at home.
- Bring table coverings and something to warm up your table- flowers and other decorations can make a big difference. Birth balls and other visuals help draw people in, as do snacks and drinks.
- Offer something special like a small workshop on using the peanut ball or writing a birth plan. Offer some value for parents to stop in and hang for a while.
- Have fun! Remember, the work you do establishing your business today will pay off in the long-run. You may see immediate results, or they may be more long-term.
The DONA Member facebook group can be a great resource for what’s worked for your fellow doulas. Let’s have a conversation about what makes a great baby fair booth and how to host a gathering in your community.
Get Involved with Advocacy
Do you have an interest in advocating for improved maternity health care or birthing rights locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally? Many areas have local advocacy groups or coalitions whose primary goal is to advocate for issues that affect the birthing community. A search on social media or even on the web can often put you in contact with the right people. There are several larger organizations that focus on advocating for causes that you may align with your own philosophy or your work, and International Doula Month is a great time to get involved and push for doula support.
In our member-wide survey of 2016, you spoke loud and clear that you wanted DONA International to get involved in advocating for issues that are important to doulas all over the globe. As you may have heard, leaders from within DONA International are coming together to meet the organizational advocacy goals. The committee will be exploring opportunities for DONA International to be involved in issues such as the state of maternal health care, general advocacy for doulas, and third party reimbursement for doulas. As the committee and sub-committees are coming together, we invite you to get involved.
Do you want to get involved with DONA International on a larger scale? As a member-led non-profit organization, DONA International is made up of doulas just like YOU who are leading us into the future. We invite you to celebrate International Doula Month by utilizing your skills and talents on a committee or project. For information about leadership opportunities visit our Get Involved page on the DONA.org website.
In 2017, we celebrate the 25th Birthday of DONA International. Let’s join together to get involved to promote this amazing work and cultivate connections this year that will last throughout the next 25 years!