Become a Midwife or Doula
You have a passion for reproductive rights and health issues, and you’re ready to move 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!
❊ Become a Birth Doula
Warm Welcome’s birth doula workshop is a robust full 4 days, taught by a midwife who has also attended hundreds of births as a doula since 1996. This workshop is unique in several ways: the 30+ hour training is longer than many doula trainings because I learned in my early years of teaching that new doulas improved dramatically when they had abundant time for reinforcement of skills and knowledge through repetition.
I integrate 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 three-day 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.
Becoming a Postpartum Doula
While the weeks and months after a baby’s birth can be a tender and joyful time, it is also a period of tremendous transition and adjustment for everyone involved. Parents are often surprised at how much their days and nights overflow with caring for baby, and support from beyond the family is often called for. Postpartum Doulas help ease the way during this tender time, providing in-home infant care, supporting healthy physical and emotional transition, assisting with older siblings, offering baby feeding tips and practical household support such as cooking and cleaning. Most postpartum doulas are self-employed, and in our area commonly earn $25 to $35 per hour.
Our three – day Postpartum Doula Workshop is packed with information about how to support growing families at home with their babies. Click here for upcoming dates and locations.
❊ About the Instructor
Michelle has attended 550+ 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 teach on these topics to area hospitals’ labor and delivery staff, as well as to local college classes. She is Chilean-American and fluent in Spanish.
>> 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.”