After four years of mentoring new doulas at the start of their journey with Doula UK, the non-profit association for doulas in the UK, running courses for people who wanted to train as a doula seemed like a natural next step. Back in 2011 I attended and completed the Developing Doulas Course, run by Maddie McMahon in Cambridge. After enjoying a close working relationship with Maddie for a number of years, in 2015, I was proud to be asked to join her and offer the Developing Doulas Course to new doulas-to-be.
“I experienced what it feels like to be listened to. And I don’t just mean a chat, I mean to actually be heard. I was given a safe space to explore different thoughts, beliefs, motivations and desires with absolutely no judgement. And this wasn’t in a therapeutic environment, it was just something that organically grew as the week went on. The only way I can describe it is magic”
Laura Stocks – November 2016
About the course
It involves workshops over five days and we aim to…
- Explore the nature of a doula training course
- Define the role of the doula
- Explore your motivation for becoming a doula
- Work through your own birthing experiences
- Reflect on how to support women through counselling and listening skills
- Explore why unconditional, non-judgmental support is so important
- Understand how breastfeeding works and how to support mums in their feeding choices
- Talk about women’s choices and how to help them make those choices truly informed
- Discuss how to empower our clients
- Talk about how to debrief after the birth – with clients and with each other
- Understand the basic anatomy and physiology of birth
- Explore how to help facilitate a normal birth
- Discuss labour positions and comfort measures
- Become aware of our own strengths and weaknesses
- Commit to on-going learning and self-development
- Put ourselves in our local context – networking and know-how
- Find out about the realities of working as a doula – setting up and running your business
- Understand what it means to be a trainee doula – the assessment and recognition process
- Work on building positive and respectful relationships with clients, fellow doulas and healthcare professionals
- Complete some post-course assignments to extend your reflection and learning
The Developing Doulas course costs £550, or £525 if you pay all in one lump sum before the course starts. We normally ask for a £100 booking deposit, with the balance due two weeks before the start of the course.
Please check back for details of my next course. Dates to be confirmed
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about my doula course, I’m really happy to chat by email or text. It’s really important to pick the right course for you, so if I can’t offer what you’re looking for, there are some amazing Doula UK approved courses to choose from.
Why I joined Developing Doulas
If you’re curious to know why I chose Developing Doulas, here’s the story…
As you’d expect, when I decided I wanted to train as a doula, I researched and contacted a few course providers to find the perfect fit. Maddie McMahon came highly recommended to me, so I was excited and nervous before chatting to her. The fact that the Developing Doulas course has a strong focus on infant feeding support was a big pull as I was keen to train as a Breastfeeding Counsellor myself. (I am now a fully certified Breastfeeding Counsellor with the ABM). I wondered what she would think of me as I picked up the phone. Of course I had decided to just be ‘me’ on the call, something that I have been able to do more easily since becoming a birth worker. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with Maddie, you will know her deep, soothing voice is like nectar! All my concerns melted away the moment we started chatting and I knew I should learn to be a doula with her. I grew and learnt so much about myself and what motivates me during this process. I now stand side-by-side with Maddie and am incredibly proud to be supporting new doulas as a course facilitator, knowing only too well some of the emotions they are feeling. The joy I experience on the courses is enormous. Watching women bond, share and grow. There is laughter, tears, time to pause for reflection and food…. I hope you will contact me and experience all this first-hand, very soon.
“Zara was an excellent course facilitator. Having facilitated courses myself for many years I understand how much goes into preparing for a course and how testing and often exhausting holding a group can be. Zara was unflappable, she was kind and loving and so warm and welcoming. Generous with her home and her knowledge, I felt immediately at ease in her presence. It was so refreshing to be with a course leader who really knows her stuff; Zara exudes a deep sense of self – which resonates within the group and provides the scaffolding for a challenging week of reflection and learning”
Alexis Osmen November 2016