toLabor encourages toLabor trained doulas to pursue and maintain professional certification throughout their career.
As public awareness of the doula’s role and the number of doulas increases, toLabor feels it is critical that the doula profession be treated with the same deference and respect as all other professions which require specialized training, broad knowledge, expertise of skills, and professionalism that reflects the integrity of doula work.
Doulas are among the most specialized and experienced care providers for laboring women, and toLabor doulas are widely regarded as expert and professional assistants for laboring women. While it is of course possible to be an excellent doula without formal certification, toLabor believes that certification provides legitimacy, acknowledgment, and credibility that is crucial for our field at this juncture.
For those who are still considering certification there are a number of important factors that may impact your decision.
What is Certification?
Certification is a formal process in which toLabor validates a doula’s skill, knowledge, experience, judgment, and abilities in a defined area of practice based on toLabor’s certifying standards. While certification requirements differ by organization, toLabor doulas achieve certification after attending a training workshop, attending six births as a doula, reading a number of required materials, and passing a comprehensive certifying exam, among other requirements. Click here for a full list of required reading and other certification requirements. Certification is renewed each year through demonstration of an active doula practice and proof of ongoing continuing education and involvement in the community.
Certification serves as official recognition of achievement, experience, knowledge, and skill. It is a mark of excellence that requires continued learning and professional growth. Doulas are highly skilled, carefully trained, and provide some of the most valuable support a laboring woman may get. This expertise must be formally recognized through certification.
Click here to learn more about how to become a certified toLabor doula.