I am excited for the first blog post on this site. My fiancé has been pushing for me to get this started for years now. I finally feel ready to share with the world that I am a doula. I can say it. I am a doula.
When I heard about doulas I had the same reaction as most people. I wondered out loud, "What is a doula?" Soon I could not contain my interest. I went to the internet with all of my questions. How does one become a doula? Is there a community of doulas in Montreal? In Canada? In the world? I could not get enough information.
Soon I got to researching training programs. One of the most recognized programs in the world is DONA International. It is a program with many steps and ensures its doulas complete workshops and breastfeeding courses, research and prepare themselves to run a business and prove support of women in labour. The upside to this program is that it is internationally recognized so if I were ever to move, I would have the credentials with me. The downside is that the workshop that kickstarts the program does not come to Montreal very often. I made do for the moment by knocking off the suggested reading list and self-educating as much as possible.
Then I came across a grassroots program spearheaded by Rivka Cymbalist. In my opinion, she is sort of a great big deal in the doula community and has helped set the standards in Montreal for doulas. She runs a doula school and a non-profit doula service for women in need. Montreal Birth Companions Doula School is a classroom and apprenticeship based community learning program. The classroom modules are then put into action by shadowing an experienced doula. Eventually, student doulas are graduated to help women in need. This is where I remain, as a volunteer doula for MBC.
After completing the MBC certification, DONA international announced a workshop in Montreal. Of course I attended and have been completing trainings ever since.
This is where I am now. Taking on clients slowly and surely as I gain more confidence in this domain.