Continuing education is a necessity and a priority for anyone working in maternity care. As doulas we are also dedicated to educate ourselves, to update our skills, and to be aware of the latest research. DAE recognizes the difficulty and financial limitations of local doulas to access distant learning or to attract speakers to Edmonton. Because of this, DAE is committed to make education opportunities more accessible to its members through a self-run continuing education lecture series, newsletter, google group, mentoring program, and partnerships with other local associations, professionals, and schools in the birthing community.
Continuing Education Lecture Series/ Educational Meetings:
The association has created a continuing education lecture series in the fall of 2007 for its members. Each lecture is free of charge for members and is held every other month (usually on the last Thursday of that month). Lecturers address specific topics announced to the membership every Fall.
DAE encourages doulas to read regularly and keep aware of the latest guidelines, techniques, and health related news. DAE is a lifetime member of ASAC and receives the magazine Birth Issues which it distributes to all of its members.
DONA and CAPPA professional development:
Both organizations have established a number of educational opportunities for doulas. Each association holds an annual conference where doulas from all over the world can gather, socialize, and listen to speakers. They also hold training workshops for doulas and childbirth educators. To find out when the next available trainings are, go to the DONA and CAPPA websites.
As of January 2008, Grant MacEwan no longer offers perinatal education for doulas. Douglas College in New Westminster (BC) is the closest program providing college education level to doulas and other professionals. Their courses offer training in birth support, postpartum support, breastfeeding support and childbirth education. To find out when the next available trainings are, go to the Douglas College website.
The Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth which has been serving Alberta families since 1979 is a wonderful group for doulas to connect with. Being active members of ASAC enables doulas to be a useful resource for their clients because they keep up to date with the latest developments in Alberta maternity care, acquire a wide variety of skills and be aware of local resources. ASAC has a lending library, monthly meetings, publishes Birth Issues and organizes Spring and Fall prenatal lecture series for free at their office. Check the calendar of events for precise information.
Edmonton VBAC group
The Vaginal Birth after Cesarean group, founded in 1986 is a valuable resource to educating families but also doulas about cesareans and VBACs. The association provides a safe place to learn more about the implications of cesareans, the kind of support one needs after a previous cesarean, what kind of support and resources one needs to have a VBAC. The group’s monthly meetings and workshops as well as its affiliation with ICAN enables doulas to serve the growing number of women who have had cesareans and would like to have a different childbirth experience.
La Leche League meetings
La Leche League meetings (see LLL) are also an invaluable resource of committed and informed persons dedicated to breastfeed their children. Monthly group meetings are organized in most cities in Canada. Leaders facilitate informal guided discussions. For doulas this is a place where we can learn about breastfeeding and identify basic breastfeeding issues. It is an encouraging space and its leaders are often a wealth of local resources and advice.
Birth Support Training
To become a birth doula or to recertify please contact:
- Suzanne Moquin, DONA doula trainer for Northern Alberta. She offers DONA approved trainings in the Edmonton area twice a year. They are listed in the Calendar page of this website.
Email: gentletouchdoula (at) shaw (dot) ca
- Sonya Duffee, CAPPA Canada Labour Doula workshops, CLD, CLDT
Full Circle Birth Collective
Volunteering and Mentorship
We encourage you to volunteer with a number of local associations. You will have the opportunity to be part of a structure, gain birth experience, and be mentored by more experienced doulas. For example, go to Terra (9930-106 St, Edmonton – Phone: 428-3772) or Bent Arrow (2nd Floor, 10117 – 150 St, Edmonton – Phone: 481-3451). Go in person rather than call as they don’t always have time to answer your call promptly and you might end up waiting for months.
With your mentor, make sure you express clearly what your needs are and ask what her expectations of you are. Mentors should not be asking any money from you, but she may ask you to help her in her visits or to carpool.