May is International Doula Month, recognized worldwide as a time to acknowledge the contributions of the birth and postpartum doula to maternity care. Awareness of doulas and the benefits of working with a doula during the birth and postpartum periods are growing exponentially. Many people are realizing that becoming a doula and serving expectant and new families would be a rewarding and satisfying occupation.

DONA International offers opportunities to become a doula by attending one of the many doula workshops offered around the world by a DONA-Approved Trainer. A doula workshop is the first step on the path to becoming a certified birth or postpartum doula. You will receive world-class training and become a member of the largest and most recognized and respected doula organization in the world.

But how do you know if you should become a doula?  

Consider if any (or all) of these statements apply to you:

  1. You are always the go-to person for family, friends, and colleagues to ask all their pregnancy, birth and postpartum questions of.
  2. You are not satisfied with the current state of maternal-infant outcomes in your community and beyond. You know it can be better.
  3. You are able to put your own opinions and views aside and support a family in achieving their own desired experience.
  4. You strongly believe that emotional and informational support during the childbearing year is as important as clinical support.
  5. You enjoy researching perinatal topics and staying up-to-date on best practices for maternal-infant health.
  6. You enjoy working as part of the team with other professionals to create the best possible experience for families, even when that experience requires flexibility.
  7. You are committed to abiding by the professional standards of your certifying organization.
  8. You enjoy a level of autonomy and independence in your professional life.
  9. You are able to be responsive to supporting a family during labor/birth or the postpartum period without much notice.

Doula work is both satisfying and rewarding. It can also be challenging and emotionally and physically exhausting. There is every opportunity for people in all stages of their life and with all kinds of backgrounds to begin a career as a birth or postpartum doula. Being a doula means improving the birth and postpartum experience one family at a time. If this is something that has always been on your bucket list, the time to take the next step may very well be now! Discover more about being a doula, finding a workshop and starting yourself on this new and exciting journey.  You may want to join the DONA International Facebook Group open to all in order to connect with others who share your passion. Happy International Doula Month to all current and future doulas. A special thank you to the Puget Sound birth community who helped compile this list.