Doula training options vary a lot by region—big (and liberal) cities tend to have more options than other areas. When looking for trainings, try emailing anyone you know who works in the field, check out any local blogs or websites about reproductive health, and Google doula trainings in your area. If you are trying to decide between different training options, think about:
- What kind of work do you want to do? Abortion doula trainings are usually only offered by full-spectrum organizations, so getting trained may require being in cities where those groups are located. Birth doula trainings tend to be more widespread and offered by various organizations. There are also now some end-of-life doula trainings being offered.
- How do you want to practice your work? Different trainings will prepare you better for different aspects of doula work. If your goal is to start a for-profit business, DONA international will give you a framework for beginning that process. If you plan to work in specific marginalized communities or provide full-spectrum services, trainings offered by local organizations usually place a stronger emphasis on social and reproductive justice and cultural literacy.
- What kind of doula community do you want to be part of? Are you hoping to be part of an organization or work solo? Is it important to you to be trained alongside other students, gender non-conforming folks, parents, etc.? Trainings can be a great way to find friends, allies, and role models. That said, there aren’t always many training options available – when that’s the case, don’t be afraid to jump in to whatever you can find. Once you have the skills, you can start building your own community!