So we’re going to talk a little about the experience that you need to become a doula or the training that you need. There are many pieces of training available around the world for which you can choose and pick the one you want. Your skills need to know, a general physiological birth. What does it feel like? What is happening? What is the process?
You need to know, the comfort measures, how you can support the woman, you need to understand a little bit of social psych, social psycho, psychological aspects. Because women are not living in isolation and having babies. They are who they are and they have experiences that led their reactions and responses to the world.
So you could look at the training that would be, which offers you not just all this technical information or intellectual information or academic information, but does your training offer you an experience of what support feels like? Because the hallmark of a doula is all about support. How do I understand support if I have not felt it?
If I feel the fear of becoming the best doula or if I feel the competitiveness of the world around me, how do I understand what support is? So you can look for programs that are culturally sensitive, which apply to your community. Or you can bring in your own aspects that apply to your community.
Because a lot of how we feel safe arises from a period where we haven’t been, intellectual and it’s more emotional. And you look for a program that offers you mentorship, that offers you support. So anybody can become a doula. All you need is hot and hands. In fact, I would add to that saying that, could you have a program to teach someone how to be a great friend?
Yeah. Well, it’s kind of like that. You know, it’s not a program that, it’s easy to pick up skills, doula skills, to offer physical support, emotional support. But you understand, like you understand friendship only when you’ve experienced it or you understand love only when you’ve experienced it.
Similarly, what you offer as a doula. The support that you offer as a doula, you are able to do that only if you have truly experienced that. And that’s, I think what the doula training program has given all of us. It is not also a profession that is just outside of who we are. All of us are in this, are doing this work because it has, we have been driven to it, feel strongly about it and it is we offered the whole of ourselves into it.
So when I go to meet a client of mine for a prenatal meeting, it’s not just a professional meeting. I am actually offering my friendship and I do hear that back from a lot of my clients, a lot of my clients, who I’ve been with, we’re friends, we chat, we wished each other on birthdays. We drop in and see each other. We exchange our kid’s pictures. And that is the sense of, that is what support is.
So I think the training program has sensitized us to understanding that nuance of doula work. And that is what really differentiates a good doula from just someone who has done a training program and knows the skills.
Yeah. So my name is Divya and I’ve been a doula for almost two decades, and now I have stepped back and I am being the doula for all the other doulas if you choose to work with us, and we offer not just as opposed to a client, but we also as a community, offer support to our fellow sisters who are driven to this work so that they feel supported and they can pass it on.