What is the Best Doula Training Program in the Lower Mainland?
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A doula is an unregulated industry. Anyone can be a doula, they do not need formal training or to be certified. You only need to be caring, supportive and have a desire to help people during the birth of their baby. Doulas are self employed, they are also small business owners.
A midwife is a regulated medical provider. Midwives have a 4 year degree in Midwifery; only can work in specific hospitals and their services are paid for by BC Medical. They offer the same care as you would have with a family doctor except their visits are longer; they work in smaller call teams and they specialize in maternal and infant care. Often, midwives will work out of clinics so they do not have to run their own business. Many midwives will become doulas before they enter midwifery school.
What skills do I need to become a doula?
You will need to run a business alongside supporting families. You will need reliable transportation, ability to be on call, ok with an unscheduled lifestyle. Most doulas will have some basic knowledge of birth or a deep desire to help people.
What kind of training do I need to become a birth doula?
First you have to decide why you want to become a doula? Is it to support a friend or relative with the birth of a child? Do you want to become a full-time doula? Do you want to learn in person or online? Are you looking to offer birth and postpartum services?
You will need to decide what kind of training speaks to you. Do you want a more spiritual guide to being a doula, or do you connect with a more clinical approach? Do you want to learn from people that work in your local community or someone who has a broader worldview on birth? Who is the instructor? Where did they get their knowledge from? Do they offer in person training or online? Birth doula work is unregulated so anyone can become a doula with or without training and certification. Just like anyone can train doulas.
Lower Mainland Doula Training Options
Wise Woman Way of Birth (WWWOB)
Gloria Lemay, who has been a childbirth activist, birth attendant, and midwifery educator for many years, started Wise Woman Way of Birth many years ago. WWWOB offers a Postpartum Doula training course with Candice Johnson, a midwifery course and a birth doula training that Jessica Austin led for many years. The birth doula course is now run by Gloria Lemay but still has recordings of Jessica Austin's teachings. If you have not heard of Jessica and her amazing way of inspiring people with birth, you need to take this course.
The birth doula training currently is 12 classes that are 2 hours each. They have three courses running this year at a price of $675 CND. Successful students will receive Wise Woman Way of Birth Doula Training certification.
The Wise Woman Way of Birth postpartum training has three training sessions a year at a price of $525 CND.
College of the Rockies Doula Program
They offer two intakes per year. The birth doula program is a 12-week online program with extra time spent on book reports, volunteer hours and time gaining work experience of $795 CND. You will receive a certificate.
Holistic Doula Certificate | Pacific Rim College
Pacific Rim College has the most expansive course. The course includes birth and postpartum doula training and other therapeutic approaches like acupressure, holistic nutrition and yogatherapy. You will graduate with a certificate upon completion. The course runs for 13.5 weeks, with 20 hours per week of studying the courses start in September and January. Pacific Rim College is in Victoria. The cost is just under $4000. You can apply for a student loan for this program.
Holistic Doula Program | The Matrona The cost for a 4 full-day program is $650 USD. You will receive a certificate of completion. This program focuses on the spiritual and physical journey of childbirth. Whapio Bartlett offers a program that is taught through stories and years of experience as a midwife in the USA.
Once you have completed one of these doula trainings, you might look for a more in-depth guide when starting your business. Morag Hastings 1-year doula mentorship will help you find clients, structure your prenatal visits, build your business and community. You will receive 1:1 support when working with clients, working with medical providers, and working with your clients. Our doula mentorship will get your business off and running in a positive way.
** Bebo Mia and Doula Canada have had issues with social justice in the past. We have decided not to support these companies at this point in time.