If you get my newsletter regularly, you might have already picked up on the fact that I’m more of a grassroots movement lover than someone who’s likely to buy into gigantic organizations.
This is why I chose not to certify with DONA International, and why I am not a member of the Doula Services Association (DSA). Both of these organizations are doing amazing things in a lot of ways. They are spreading the message about doula support, educating women who want to provide labour support to parents during childbirth and working towards mainstream recognition of the value of doulas & the impact they have on birth outcomes. If you are looking to be part of a larger, provincially or internationally recognized association of doulas and doula-educators, DONA is a great place to start looking.
However, I personally love the sense of a more personal community. In fact, community building is one of the biggest goals of Birth Takes A Village. And this is why I joined the Vancouver Doula Network. The VDN is a group of local Vancouver doulas. It is run by its own members who share responsibilities for organizing meetings, finding guest speakers to provide us with continuing education, keeping track of group member details and letting new doulas know about the group. We take turns hosting in the comfort of member’s living rooms, where we drink tea and bring snacks to share. We carpool to meetings and make new friends.
Between meetings, we keep in touch online, posting our questions and referring each other clients to make sure our clients are matched with a doula who has the right expertise and personality for them. We use each other as back up doulas and mentors, and work individually and together to educate women and provide them support during birth.
Although most of us have our own private doula practices we strive to be successful at, we view each other as members of the same team, not as business competition. We know that the more doulas there are, the better. More doulas mean more women out there talking about birth, educating women on their options, spreading the message of the huge impact strong birth support has on birth outcomes, and more women feeling respected and supported during birth.
On a business level, we know the more doulas who are out there working hard, the more people will hear about doulas and start seeking us out.
If you are a doula in Vancouver and are not already part of the Vancouver Doula Network, send me an email and I’ll let you know how to get involved. Maybe we’ll carpool to the next meeting. If you are interested in becoming a doula, check out my article on Certification For Doulas In Vancouver.
I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Crystal Di Domizio, the Vancouver doula & Hypnobabies instructor who first invited me to the group, and to Chloe Dierkes, doula and placental encapsulator, who took the initiative to get the group going. Also to Morag Hastings, doula and birth photographer, for sharing her snapshot of a recent Vancouver Doula Network meeting for this post! Visit appleblossomfamilies.com to see her REAL work!
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