By Shawn Williams[Tweet “Doula Training w/DPB = empowering, intense, global-focus, warm and welcoming, creates sisterhood, reminds us of the importance of service”]
When presented with the opportunity to train as a birth doula with Debra Pascali-Bonaro (DPB) I jumped at the chance. I had previously been trained as a postpartum doula and knew that she was a highly respected doula and doula teacher. Her reputation preceded her and is well deserved. If you are fortunate to train with DPB this woman of deep wisdom will ensure that you learn what you need to know in order to be a caring, knowledgeable, community doula.
Each morning of training began with a warm welcoming smile from DPB, an informative video playing on the television, a table full of rebozos, books, and movies related to the miracle of birth. There was always a sense that we should always be learning – there is always something to learn. During our postpartum training there was certainly a lot of materials covered to ensure that we were thoroughly trained to instruct families in infant care. Everything from helping moms process their birthing experience to the various characteristics of newborns and, of course, offering assistance with breastfeeding. Our days in training were filled with discussions, role-plays, and lots of story sharing as those of us with varied birth-related experiences shared stories with our classmates. Our training with DPB was also incredibly empowering. Throughout the classes, stories, and videos the common thread on display is the strength of women from around the world as we give birth to, nourish, and care for our infant childbirth.
This sense of empowerment was very apparent during the birth doula course I took with DPB. She made sure that we were reminded of the strength, beauty and wonder of pregnancy, labor and delivery of babies. Additionally, as doulas-in-training she shared the important roles that we as doulas play for women as they transition into mothers or mothers-again. The sense of family we share when we when we are there for women during labor and delivery is truly an honor. As doulas we share our strength mothers-to-be. They lean on us when they think they cant endure another powerful wave of labor or can’t push anymore. We are there to let them know that they are powerful beyond anything they know and that they can do it.
Finally, doula training with DPB left us all with a great sense of community. DPB was eager to learn from and encouraged us to share pregnancy; labor, delivery and early infant care traditions from our own cultural communities. We laughed and shared old wives tales, beliefs from our grandmothers, tried and true research-based practices finding the commonalities, taking notes on differences and those things that work to care for the new mother, their babies and families. We were trained to be culturally responsive, to at least ask what is important to families at the very important time in their life of family welcoming a new member. It is this commonality that helps doulas build community with each family they work with and connect them to other families and resources in their neighborhoods. Overall it was a pleasure to train with DPB. I would recommend that all who are interested in doula work train with Debra Pascali-Bonaro.
Learn more about doula trainings and retreats with Debra- debrapascalibonaro.com/schedule