Teaching is learningDoulas by nature are teachers. We educate our clients and, often, our communities too. These Alternative Contact Hour options for recertification capture the opportunities we have to learn and share about the role and benefits of doulas as well as topics relevant to our services. While most consider observing a midwife or doctor a learning experience, we know doulas are using those encounters to share about doulas too! We’ve outlined what teaching and sharing experiences can be counted for Alternative Contact Hours for DONA International recertification. In most cases, someone else will need to verify your activity, so be sure to check the Recertification Alternatives to Continuing Education on the DONA International website for all the details.

Presentation About Doulas – Many doulas, as part of their efforts to educate their communities about doulas, give presentations to parenting groups, the staff of hospitals and birth centers, as well as other doulas. Not only do these help spread the word about doulas and the work we do, but they require that we provide updated information and research — in other words, keeping up our own education! Each presentation/discussion session lasting an hour counts as one contact hour. You can count up to three per recertification period. (Alternative Option A-1)

Create an Approved Workshop – If continuing education events in your area are few and far between, why not develop your own and have it approved for DONA International contact hours? The investment in the research and curriculum development enhances your own continuing education to the tune of three contact hours for every contact hour approved for the presentation. (Alternative Option A-8)

Observe Another Professional – Four or more hours shadowing a midwife, doctor, lactation consultant, or certified doula working with clients can provide a wealth of information and resources for doulas, both new and experienced. This is a great way to network with perinatal professionals, particularly for doulas who have recently relocated. Up to four contact hours can be earned through this alternative. (Alternative Option B-2)

Mentor a New Doula – A certified doula can act as a preceptor to a DONA-trained, but not yet certified doula. This arrangement provides valuable observation experience for the new doula as she shadows an experienced doula offering labor support to her own client and is a strong manifestation of DONA International’s mission. Up to 10 contact hours are available to the preceptor doula toward the recertification requirement. (Alternative Option B-3)

Lead a Support Group Meeting – Doulas can provide very valuable information and resources to support groups. Research and develop a presentation on a topic, provide a 20 minute presentation and facilitate a short discussion afterward to a support group related to the childbearing year. Write a brief statement on how this experience assists your practice and have one participant sign the required form to earn one contact hour for each one hour meeting. Supporting families in this way can earn a recertifying doula up to five contact hours total. (Alternative Option B-6)

The full list of Alternative Options is available here:
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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