Become a Midwife or Doula
You have a passion for reproductive rights and health issues, and you’re ready to move beyond contemplation into hands-on action. Becoming a doula or midwife is a powerful way to translate your values into work that brings long-lasting benefits to new parents and growing families. The ripple effect of a healthy, positive birth-day lasts a lifetime, and yours can be the hands and heart that make all the difference.
Welcome to the Work!
❊ Becoming a Doula
Warm Welcome’s birth doula workshop is a robust full 4 days, taught by a midwife who has also worked as a doula since 1996. This workshop is unique in several ways: the 4-day training is longer than many doula trainings because I learned in my early years of offering doula training that new doulas improved dramatically when they had abundant time for reinforcement of skills and knowledge through repetition.
Also I integrated hands-on practice for new doulas with pregnant couples, by having new doulas co-teach with me the popular Creative Movement: Practical Prep for a Positive Birth. This is your first opportunity to put your new skills and knowledge to use, and it is under my supervision. With the support of your doula class, you demonstrate and explain labor options to pregnant people. You’ll absorb and integrate an enormous amount of insight, skill and perspective in our days together, emerging ready to attend births.
Since doula work is non-medical support, there is no state or national licensure or exam. Warm Welcome’s structure is lifetime certification; there is no requirement for ongoing CEUs, annual fees or membership. Once you’ve completed the process, you’re a doula for good!
Michelle L’Esperance also trains people to be Postpartum Doulas in a full weekend training, and provides stimulating continuing education workshops for trained doulas who are ready to expand their skills.
❊ Becoming a Midwife
Thinking of becoming a midwife? There are several paths to midwifery. Before you commit to several years of training and thousands of dollars of tuition to become a Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Nurse-Midwife, or direct entry midwife — dive into a professional birth doula training to learn the hands-on labor support skills you will use in every birth setting. Surprisingly, these techniques are often not covered in depth in midwifery school. Those who enter midwifery school with doula skills are often at a significant advantage over their classmates who have little or no actual birth experience.
Warm Welcome’s training is rigorous, and has been described by participants with birth experience or prior doula training as basic and intermediate doula training rolled into one!. One of the very few Birth Doula Workshops taught by a midwife, Warm Welcome’s training has given dozens of people a successful start on their paths to midwifery and nursing.
Warm Welcome has one apprentice midwife, and one or two interns who assist the practice and may eventually advance to apprenticeship. These positions are unpaid, and are an exchange of work for learning. Minimum commitment is 6 months for interns, 1 year for apprentices.
Curious about how people use their birth doula training, or take their first steps to midwifery? Check out the stories of many Warm Welcome graduates here!
❊ About the Instructor
Michelle has attended over 400 births in homes, freestanding birth centers and domestic and foreign hospitals since 1996. Her areas of expertise include facilitating optimal fetal positioning during pregnancy and birth, helping those with prior cesarean births have joyful VBACs, and birth as a transformative experience. She regularly accepts invitations to speak on these topics to area hospitals’ labor and delivery staff, as well as to local college classes.
>> Read more about Michelle here.
Let’s discuss your next steps toward becoming a doula or midwife
“The fact is that when you do something from your heart, you leave a heart print.”