We all know that continuing education is important to maintain and enhance our skills so that we can provide more effective support for families. The truth is, most doulas are constantly engaged in continuing education; it’s making sure to capture all that activity at recertification time that is the hard part!

Continuing EducationWhile events provide interaction, which can lead to a broader network and greater support for your practice, sometimes delving deeper into a topic on your own can provide significant learning. Individual study is also flexible to your schedule, but be warned that the lack of structure can be a challenge all its own. Study groups or partners can be a great way to clear that hurdle and continue your doula education.

Here are some of the Alternatives to Continuing Education for Recertification available for birth and postpartum doulas. Follow The DONA Doula Chronicles for more ways to earn and, most importantly, capture, contact hours outside of events.

Book or Article Packet Study – Most doulas have an extensive library of books related to the childbearing year or parenting. With new resources coming out all the time, this option is a great way to apply the continued reading most doulas are already engaged in toward recertification. Instead of a book, five researched based articles from medical or nursing journals can be substituted. DONA International requires that a written synopsis be submitted with your recertification application to receive credit. Up to five contact hours using this option may be submitted within one certification period. (Alternative Option A-2)

Book Comparison – We serve clients from all walks of life and with various interests and philosophies on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting. Read and write a synopsis comparing two books on the same subject but with different perspectives. Each comparison essay counts as two contact hours. (Alternative Option A-6)

Write An Article for the International Doula – A feature article in DONA International’s quarterly magazine or another pregnancy or parenting publication based on research or a comparative study is a great way to share what you’ve learned with others in the field. For the writers among us, this option can provide up to eight alternative contact hours (two hours each for up to four articles). (Alternative Option A-3)

We hope this information on your reading, writing and research options for continuing education alternatives for recertification helps you conquer the contact hours. For the complete details and requirements for all of your alternative contact hour options check out:

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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