Category Archives: Learning

Reasons to Become A Doula – Birth Ways International Doula Training

September 27, 2020

Could I be a doula? Where do I begin training? Who takes our doula training and what are their reasons?

Birth Ways International is often asked these questions by people curious about our Birth Doula Training, Postpartum Doula Training, and continuing education courses. We are very happy to answer them as there are many reasons why people want to become a doula.

Reasons to become a doula

Here are a few reasons to become a doula. Which one speaks to you?

  • Had a great birth and want more people to experience that.
  • Experienced a difficult birth and want to help others avoid that challenge.
  • Want to go to the birth of a loved one or community member informed and prepared.
  • Interested in making a career out of being a doula.
  • Want to support families and inform them of all their options.
  • Passionate about helping people during pregnancy, birth and their postpartum.
  • Want to be an advocate for women, babies and families.
  • Inspired to be an advocate for change in the system.

  • Are a healthcare professional and want to deepen their knowledge of the childbearing year.
  • Seeking work in a related field and want to add doula work to their menu of services.
  • Working or training as a massage therapist and are interested in the 6 credits from BDT.
  • Are pregnant and know that this weekend is the best prenatal class around.
  • Applying to midwifery school and know that many of our grads get into the school of their choice.
  • Retired from day job and want to do this awesome caregiving work.
  • Heard that our training is affordable.
  • Love that we blend evidence-based information with the experiences we have gathered in over 600 births and combined 40 years of birth experience.

All of these reasons are valid, as are yours!

Women of all ages and interests take Birth Ways International trainings - there is a space in our circle for you!

The next Birth Doula Training is happening October 23 to 25 and registration is now open! We also offer a variety of classes via video-on-demand as well as a monthly Online Doula Q&A. Please let Angie and Karen know if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Reasons to become a doula

Effective Doula Phrases – Birth Ways International Doula Training

September 24, 2020

Doula phrases are helpful for when we find ourselves in situations where we know that our clients need more information (and possibly a little space) before consenting to something and we might feel at a loss for words.

In my 30 years as a doula there some phrases I have found useful many of which can be used together with the BRAINS technique of working towards full information before consenting to a procedure:

B - What are the benefits of this procedure you are suggesting?

R - Can you tell me the risks of doing this?

A - What are some alternatives to taking this action?

I -  What is my intuition telling me?

N - What if we do nothing?   Can we take a break, have a bath, go for a walk and check in on this in ½ hr?

S - Sign a waiver.

effective doula phrases

I found some other phrases in a resource listing responses to racist comments and I found many of them also applied to birth settings.  While we do not speak for our clients, we can suggest these phrases to them or use them where appropriate: 

Could you please repeat that?

Did you just say that ________?

So, what do you mean when you said _______?

I am not sure I understood you correctly, did you mean that____?

Excuse me but did you mean to say something that might be interpreted as offensive?

When I hear you say ________, it makes me feel anxious/worried/afraid.

What evidence do you have to support this suggestion?

It sounds like we are assuming _____, what if we assumed _____instead?

effective doula phrases

Photo created by creativeart -

Birth Ways International offers a variety of workshops and educational opportunities to Birth Professionals online, so you can take them from wherever you are located! Please contact us for more information on our upcoming classes! Thank you.

Birth Ways International Doula Training – How to get to births!

August 21, 2020

Part 3 of a 3-part series by Karen Herriot

Everything is exciting when you are a newer doula and want to book your first client and attend your first birth. We see this passion and motivation from our Birth Ways International Doula Training graduates, and it is inspiring to see!

Use this excitement to get clear about feeling ready for clients. Use this passion to do some work and complete the steps that will take you closer to getting doula clients. Here are some ideas for you.

Be the doula who has the:

  • Lending library. Start building your library or making a list of great books for clients
  • List of great pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding websites to visit, podcasts to listen to, and amazing evidence-based resources to refer to
  • Great listening ear to hear women’s stories about their appointments, pregnancy issues, and birth fears
  • Non-judgemental ear to listen to birth stories, both good and bad
  • Comfort to accompany clients to doctor’s appts, prenatal yoga class, ultrasounds
  • Time to go to breastfeeding class with them or attend a La Leche League meeting with them
  • Interest to help them draft, edit and complete a birth plan

Know the types of clients you are open to working with and make a list. Some examples include teens, couples, VBAC, new Canadians, single-moms, and same-sex. You may also want to note any other experience working in related areas: offering support at the teen school program, volunteering at the second-stage houses, assisting folks who are learning English, etc.

Become more aware of the birth networks in your community. Meet and get to know birth-related professionals and caregivers (Angie Evans being one of them). These include midwives, pelvic floor physios, chiropractors who are trained to turn breech babies or assist newborns with a crooked neck, and more.

Here are some other ideas:

  • If someone expresses her confusion over an issue or topic, you could offer to look up some solid information for her and refer her to that
  • Join the doula circle in your area or online
  • Get additional doula-related training in setting up birth pools, making birth plans, using a rebozo, breath techniques, belly casts, photography
  • Once you get to know other doulas, offer to help them by setting up birth pools, taking photographs, doing childcare, backing them up
  • Work on your doula resume and get friends and colleagues to give your testimonials about your trustworthiness, resourcefulness, compassion
  • Lots of the requirements of the Birth Ways International certification program are great ways to get to births and prepare yourself for clients!

Finally, practice words and find phrases that describe your work that you are comfortable with:   

I am fully trained to support you through your pregnancy and labour.

I am prepared to work in a variety of settings, have toured and am familiar with the facilities in our community.

I have networked with other birth professionals and caregivers, know the childbirth education options in this area and have access to many resources I will share with you.

I have skills to tailor my doula support to meet your individual needs so you can make informed choices during your pregnancy and feel empowered to know your options and be informed through your labour and birth.

Self Care for Doulas – Interview with Mindset Coach Suzanne Culberg

August 6, 2020

Thank you Suzanne Culbert for the great interview about self-care for doulas and our navigation between work and health. We talk about a variety of topics during the interview. Managing notifications, being prepared, meal planning, and more! Have a watch and let us know what you think!

Suzanne is a mindset coach for weight loss. She believes that people often gain too much weight because they give too much help to others. They over-eat because they over-give.

The solution is to deal with the pattern of overgiving, not the pattern of over-eating. Deal with that and the food issues will largely take care of themselves.

Suzanne’s passion to help women is fueled by her own weight journey. She went from 150kg to maintaining the healthy 72kg she is now.

Suzanne knows that no single approach is right for every individual and so she uses a mix of modalities. Neuro-Linguistic Programming, hypnosis, and energy healing to give her clients the accountability to create lasting change. Self care is very important so check her offerings out.

Ways you can connect with Suzanne:


Birth Ways International offers a variety of workshops and educational opportunities to Birth Professionals online, so you can take them from wherever you are located! Please contact us for more information on our upcoming classes!