The Madriella Doula Network is aware of the philosophical and ideological differences among the Doula training and certifying organizations. There is a very wide variety of beliefs and practices in the Doula community. We believe that this variety is a good thing because we know that all women are different, with different needs and different priorities. It is beneficial that there be a spectrum of birth support professionals that can meet the diverse needs presented.
Unfortunately, the strongly held beliefs about training methodology, birth philosophy, business ethics, and profit motives have engendered open hostility among the different organizations. This manifests itself in an industry tribalism that is evident in the lack of respect some show those that come from different backgrounds or traditions. This situation grieves us and has moved us to put forward this simple position statement:
We will not take part in the bickering.
To specify, the Madriella Doula Network will not engage in criticism of other Doula certifying organizations. We will not decry their training methodology or philosophy. We will not speak ill of their motives, and we will not disrespect them either publicly or privately. If we speak of them at all, it will be to wish them success.
Instead of picking out the mote in our sister’s eye we will focus on our own training methodology, birth philosophy, business ethics, and profit motives. They are presented here, so that the reader may understand where we stand on these important issues.
Madriella was born (no pun intended) in a school of massage therapy. We, therefore, stress the importance of teaching our Doulas and other birth professionals how to comfort women with respect to the physiological intricacies of birth. We believe that, despite the facts that Doulas do not practice medical or clinical tasks, they need to have a thorough understanding of the body and its processes in birth. We believe in providing hand-over-hand training in our workshops and visual confirmation of the execution of these techniques in distance learning.
We believe that the birth view of the mothers they serve should be of paramount importance to our Doulas. As we said before, all women are different, and the birth experience of each one will be shaped by many factors, including their view of birth. We require our Doulas to respect both the Medical Model and the Midwifery Model of Care, and to be fully prepared to support the mother in the birth that she wants, so long as it does not endanger her life or the life of her child.
In order to function as a viable educational program, the Madriella Doula Network must charge a fee for the training and certification we provide. We are fortunate in that our program is largely supported by the Massage School that we are affiliated with. This allows us to charge as little as possible, which is why we are less expensive than many other programs. The reason why we charge as little as possible is detailed in the section on Profit Motives below.
We believe in the simple truth that a worker deserves their wages, and this is as true of our Doulas as it is of our trainers. We do not expect our Professional Doula Members to serve women for free. We expect them to charge whatever fee they feel justly compensates them for the time and energy they invest in serving other women. After all, every moment they spend attending to a woman as a Doula is a moment they cannot spend with their own family, or enjoying their own pursuits. Their time is valuable, and they are perfectly justified in charging a fee for it.
Madriella does not operate without a profit motive, however, what we define as profit may be different. We believe that birth is a miracle and that being allowed to participate in it has intrinsic value to us. That is why the massage school where Madriella was created offered free prenatal massages to all pregnant women in our community. Our intent was not to devalue the prenatal massages offered by other massage therapists in the area, and they suffered no loss of business as a result of our service. We offered them for free because we valued pregnancy, we valued birth and we valued the women themselves. We profited by knowing we made their pregnancy more comfortable. We profited by doing good for its own sake and that still has value in this world. Maybe now more than ever.
We believe some women wish to have Doula training for this reason as well, and that is why we have two tiers of membership, one for Professionals that deliver a valuable service and expect just compensation, and one for volunteers that may not need to charge and want to give back to their communities.
That is who we are, and we invite you to get to know us better.