Are you wondering what happens at a BEST Doula Training? We would love to invite you to hear a bit about our workshop and answer a few of our frequently asked questions.
BEST workshops are led by Maria and Amanda. Both of us have been doulas for a long time (more than a decade each) and each run successful doula agencies. We practice what we preach and preach what we practice which can be seen by the proven track record of our sustainable and ethical doula practices. However, we don't practice the same way and that might be the coolest part of our training. While we share several underlying principles in our business (and those are what we teach at BEST!), we have done many things differently through the years and we share it all with you. We think that seeing this diversity will help you create the ideal doula practice for your goals.
Our workshop starts at 9 am. Amanda and I are not natural morning people and we will probably be drinking coffee when you arrive and are happy for you to partake with us. We will take an hour and half break at lunch and dinner but you may feel free to snack during training and get up to use the restroom or stretch. We always have a few pregnant and nursing doulas in our training and, pregnant or not, we know taking care of yourself is important.
When you arrive on the first day of training, there will be some materials at your seat. This will include our Code of Ethics, sample paperwork such as the BEST Doula Contract, and some branded swag for you to enjoy. There will also be your copy of Preparing for Birth. This is the book that you may use to work with your clients as you meet for prenatal visits. Come in and look at your goodies and meet your neighbors! Amanda and I will make every effort to learn everyone's name as fast as possible and we have name tags for you to decorate and place in front of you on your table to help us do this.
Here are a few more commonly asked questions.
What time is training? Training starts at 9am each day and ends at 8pm the first two days. We often end a bit earlier but we have found it better to have the time and not use it than not having the time. We will always honor the start and stop times though by starting on time and ending either on time or earlier. We will not make anyone stay late! We do take an hour and a half break each day for lunch and dinner too. Food is important and meal times can be a great time to network with the other doulas in your training or to feed your babies and hang out with your family. On the last day of training we also start at 9am but we will end mid afternoon. At that time you will take your test and you may leave once that is turned it. Expect the test to take about an hour.
Can my nursing baby come? We want your baby to eat and we support breastfeeding, so yes, of course. However, we also think babies are really cute and thus they can be distracting so once they are done eating it is best if they are able to leave the room.
Do you sell anything at training? We will have some items available for sale at the workshop. Items will include branded tee shirts, rebozos and other doula products. You may also purchase our book Preparing For Birth at the workshop and save on shipping. You are not required to purchase anything at the training though. Your fee includes everything you need!
Will I learn to us a rebozo? Yes, we will cover rebozo basics. If you wish to purchase one at training, we will have them available.
What do I need to bring to training? Participants will get a note about what to bring, but basically you need the things you need - a jacket (those training rooms can be COLD), snacks, pad of paper and pen for taking notes etc. If you have a yoga mat we encourage you to bring it as well. We will be away from our tables a lot and the yoga mat will be very helpful as a place to sit or to practice your doula skills.
How many hours of business training will I get vs. practice skills? During the workshop we alternate between teaching doula skills, doing physical doula skills and practice and business and marketing tools. We sit down for some and stand for other parts. We work in pairs, groups and individually. Basically we keep it fun. 9 to 8 could be a long day but we promise it will never feel long!
What should I wear? Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Jeans, leggings, a skirt - it's all good. We have had some doulas in heels and some in flip flops. We will be sitting on the floor or birth balls for some of the training and also practicing positions and skills, so simply plan accordingly for your comfort. I also highly suggest a jacket or hoodie.
How quickly will I hear if I passed my test? First of all, everyone worries about the test but we really don't want you to. If you have done the precertification work and attended the training you will do a fantastic job on the test. (spoiler alert - it is an open book test!) You will typically hear back concerning our test and certification within 2-3 days of the workshop. We make getting the test back a priority because we know you want to know!
Is there anything else we can share about training? We want to answer your questions so you know what to expect. Amanda and I love working together. We look forward to every training because we love new doulas and we also have a great time. We hope if you are looking into a doula career that you will come learn and laugh with us at BEST Doula Training!