I was attending my first ICEA International conference when I first heard the word Doula. Having just passed the ICEA Childbirth Educator exam, I was celebrating my new status as an ICCE and soaking up the presence of so many other educators with a similar passion for birth. Childbirth Educator was my profession.
But there were unmistakable clues that more was in store for me in supporting the birthing family. At each of the births I had observed for my ICEA certification program, I was not just an observer. From contraction to contraction I was swept up in the process of my client’s birth. Time stood still as her needs alone seemed to dictate my motivation. There were times when it was obvious we needed to move and other moments where my only job was to quietly hold a space for what was to come.
At that first conference, Penny Simkin stood to make a simple announcement. The first applications for a doula program were ready and she gave a brief description of a doula’s work. Immediately I saw myself in her words. At each of the births I had attended for observation alone, I had effortlessly fallen into the role of doula. She was describing me and I knew that I am, and always have been, a doula.
Does this describe you? Do you see other’s needs and quietly work to facilitate those desires as you are able? Do you value the work of labor and the strength it encourages in women? Are you strong enough to walk with a laboring family no matter where the path leads? Then you, too, are a doula and probably always have been!
So celebrate your gift. Discover ICEA’s Birth Doula Program. You have the innate skills of a doula but ICEA’s Birth Doula Program will help you explore questions you have not yet asked. Embrace your skills and join the doula profession…after all, this is You!