There’s a pandemic of shame happening in the Doula world right now and it’s time we cleared the air on the adult bullying and elitism currently running course.
The Doula profession has taken off in the past decade, with more people acknowledging the overall value in the attendance of a Doula through labour and into the postpartum period.
Big certification agencies are now competing with boutique certification agencies, all making claims that they are “premier,” “modern,” “professional,” and “comprehensive.” Each vy for the attention of potential students who are searching for the “right” certification agency for them. Their "Doula family," if you will.
Loyalty to a Doula organization, no different than loyalty to a family member, runs thick. Students and alumni square off to defend their own and herald the joys of their experiences. This is to be expected - after all they did choose them in the end!
Unfortunately as a result of this need to choose we have seen a number of our Doula sisters become subject to a stream of bullying that is uncalled for and completely unprofessional. The explicit questioning of ethnicity, language, and choice of certification agency by some of the “leaders” in certain organizations is, to be blunt, disgusting. These same people are teaching their students that it is important to book clients by being nurturing and professional, yet in the same breath demanding their audience “do what I say” or “hit the highway.”
Watching some of these conversations go down over social media is like watching the mean girls in fifth grade pass notes back in forth at the expense of their bullied victim. Like, super mature (insert eye roll).
Here’s the thing. The mean girl eventually just becomes known as a bully (I actually thought of another 5 letter ‘b’ word... but I’m playing nice today friends!). The bully's game becomes tiring and no one wants to play anymore. As Doulas become recognized by policy makers, and regulatory associations grow collaboration will prevail over competition. The mean girls may even find themselves on the outside looking in.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to Doula. There is YOUR way. Can certification organizations give you training and mentorship to move you toward success? We hope so!
However, what you do with the information you are given lies no where but with you. There is no magic bag of tricks to guarantee that you are going to be the most successful Doula in your community.
Do we want to mentor you to make it happen? Absolutely!
Can a certification agency guarantee it at the expense of others? No flipping way.
We applaud the growing body of certification options available to incoming Doulas. Personal choice and satisfaction is an important component to successfully fulfilling your Doula goals and living your passion each day. However, what we (insert I) do not condone is the tactics of bullying and elitism that some of these options are employing.
So, in stereotypical Canadian fashion. It’s time to play peacemaker. It’s time to play nice. No one likes to be bullied. It’s time for the Doula world to grow up and work collaboratively together. Are you ready to Doula Canada?
Here is a fantastic article by Amy Gilliland from "Doulaing the Doula" about things to consider when choosing a Doula Certification organization: Click Here.
Interested in sharing your thoughts on the Doula Canada page?