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Helping at a birth: From simple classes to doula training

Training to become a doula can take up

Training to become a doula can take up to a few years, but childbirth classes offer a quicker way to offer support at a birth. Photo Credit: Fotolia

I’m wondering if there are any doula workshops being offered in the near future? I would like to be a doula for my daughter and son-in-law who are expecting their baby in June.

Birth doulas support the parents with nonmedical physical and emotional support during the birth; the term doula originated from handmaidens in ancient Greece.

There’s good news, bad news and good news for you.

The first good news: There is an upcoming birth doula training offered by the Long Island Doula Association, running from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on three consecutive Sundays — April 23, 30 and May 7 — in Roslyn Heights. It costs $450, and you can sign up by calling 631-574-2205.

The bad news: You won’t likely be able to complete the requirements for certification by the Long Island Doula Association by the time your grandchild is born. In addition to the workshop, you must attend three births, complete assigned readings and more. It can take from six months to three years to become fully certified, says Celeste Rachell of Roslyn Heights, a birth doula with 30 years of experience who will be the workshop instructor.

Back to good news: You don’t need that kind of extensive training to help your daughter at her birth, Rachell says. “Our training is designed for people who are looking to provide their services on a professional level as a business,” Rachell says. “That is more than you need if you only want to support your daughter in her birth.”

A better option might be to attend childbirth classes with your daughter, where you will learn comfort measures and birth strategies, Rachell says. For example, you could attend workshops on the Bradley Method, taught by independent childbirth educators, or Lamaze classes offered by many hospitals.

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