Goodness 2016 is flying by already, and I am eyeing February rather suspiciously.

So what’s up and on deck here?

Well as many can suss up here, credibility and transparency have been keys within my practices both online here and out in my day to day life in Northeastern Nevada.

I think that they are important no matter where you are…

So what are some things you can do to maintain both as a Professional Doula?

  • Have a copy of your certificate from Madriella online in your Doulamatch profile, your website and in your info packet you give out to clients – whether its an online packet because your practice is paperless or a hard copy – have this available.
  • Maintain your CPR / Basic Life Support certifications – and include a photocopy in any packets you give out, and a digital copy on your website.
  • The same goes for your Bloodborne Pathogens training.  As Doulas you shouldn’t be touching anything like that unless you are processing placentas after the fact… if you are doing that, then you want to make sure you are following proper protocols and health department recommendations.
  • NRP Training?  It couldn’t hurt.  My personal recommendation is the class taught by Karen Strange, RN.  She travels all over the country and internationally – there’s a chance you can get a class with her. once you have that, include it too.  It’s worth it.
  • In this frenzy of printing and uploading to your website, include any and all other side certifications and accomplishments – are you a Reiki Master or Certified Aromatherapist or a Certified Herbalist?  Well for goodness sake, let folks know that!  Be proud of your accomplishments – we are!  Infact, please let us know if/when you have these extra tools in your box and have obtained these add ons to your training.  We are proud of our Doula’s and their accomplishments.
  • Get involved in your community – volunteer when/where you can so folks know who you are.
  • Continue learning and be public about it.  While learning though – we can’t emphasize enough about being very careful with stands on health issues that maybe contrary to public health measures.
  • If you are against circumcision – present facts, not emotions on all written and verbal communications.  If you are not in support of vaccinations – be pro- education.  Remember this is someone else’s family and while we support them physically, emotionally and intellectually – and may be a short term walking thesaurus or medical dictionary for while they are expecting or during the postpartum recovery period – we are not their medical provider and more so, we can NOT make their decisions for them.
  • Join groups in your community on Facebook and when you introduce yourself, say “I’m Jane Doe, and I’m here because I want to learn more about ____ from those going through it/living with it on a day to day basis… and don’t represent yourself as having any other knowledge than you actually have.
  • Your Postpartum Doula Certificate if you have one, includes breastfeeding assistance training, introduce yourself to your local WIC office as having training in it, and that you’d love to volunteer to help mothers – this will help you gain more experience in helping mothers, and a broad exposure to many different situations.  By doing so it will make you more confident with your paying client and it will make your resume all the more impressive.
  • Speaking of that resume – hey how about making one up?  Your training will be highlighted, your volunteer service will count and you’re transparency factor will be improved.
  • Contact the local hospital’s social worker and the OB ward, letting them know you are available for breastfeeding assistance (keep your credential handy – you’ll need it) if there’s no IBCLC on staff and no LLL group in town.
  • Maintain an active learning plan and work it.  Seriously – you will thank yourself for it as you grow as a provider.

For myself… it’s no secret I’m a Homebirth Midwife – a Direct Entry Midwife with Certified Traditional Tribal Healer credentials, specializing in Midwifery, Doula, and Indigenous Medicine.

I’m also actively a Doula – mostly Postpartum these days.  There are amazing Doula’s in our collective who do hospital work now for Antepartum and Intrapartum, but there’s only one other person (pending certification with Madriella) for the Postpartum work here locally, and I’m cross certifying with another organization regarding loss and miscarriage.

So along with my midwifery practice guidelines (my putting my own practice transparency into action) that I’m printing today, I’m also printing brochures about the various services I offer, and I am baking trays of brownies to go to the local medical office, the OB unit, the hospital social worker and various chiropractors and other practices in town that could potentially refer business my way.    I may only back-up the hospital doulas in our collective these days, but I still actively seek postpartum work.  In doing so I need to maintain the utmost professionalism.

Maintaining transparency is essential, and these are some ways I manage it.  How do you do it?

*photo credit TobiasD, released under Creative Commons CC0.