The role of a doula in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery is essential in providing emotional, physical, and informational support to the expectant and new mother and their family. The lack of diversity in the doula profession, however, is a growing concern. Certification can be a way to expand and diversify the doula workforce. But what are the potential benefits and concerns of credentialing for Black and Brown doulas specifically?
A recent study explored this question by surveying Black doulas and doulas from other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Black doulas reported potential benefits of certification, including the importance of credentialing for doulas who have never personally experienced pregnancy or childbirth.Additionally, Black doulas saw an opportunity to train more Black doulas in the community, such as offering women reentering society from prison an opportunity to train as doulas. They also believed that credentialing could lead some hospitals to sponsor and include doulas to address historic racial health inequities.
Black doulas deserve quality certification training that educates and empowers!