Most birthing professionals are fantastic doulas, lactation professionals or childbirth educators. But some of them aren’t certified and they intend to stay that way. So what are the pros and cons of certification and why should you go that route?
There are many agencies who certify birthing professionals. A short list includes DONA, CAPPA, ICEA, Lamaze International, Hypnobirthing, Birthing from Within and ILCA. Each agency has different requirements and philosophies for certification. Some require you to attend births, read books, do online classes, observe classes, do student teaching, observe breastfeeding women or attend classes in person.
Marketability. Certification makes you more marketable as a birthing professional. It’s easier for clients to find you if you’re certified and you’re more likely to be hired. If your goal is to work for a hospital, most require certification before you can get a job.
Finding clients. With your certification, the organization will list your name on their website making easier for you to find clients and students.
The cost. It does cost money to become certified and maintain that certification. Most childbirth professionals don’t make a lot of money and certification fees add up.
There are no guarantees. Certification doesn’t make you “good” at your job. It’s unfortunate, but just like in any field, certification doesn’t ensure success or ability. You may become certified but find out that it doesn’t instantly make you a fantastic doula or childbirth educator.
The certification requirements. You’ll have to meet and agree with the certification requirements. This may require you to sign a statement or meet requirements you disagree with. This is why there are so many different certification organizations.