I had a lovely meeting with my partner-in-crime, the lovely Sue Appleton of Apple of Your Eye Doula Services in St. John, NB. She is facilitating the Summer 2010 MotherWit Birth Doula Training Intensive that I will be teaching in Morin Heights, Quebec.
I believe very much in apprenticeship for a student doula. I have been happily apprenticing students for 6 or 7 years. It is by shadowing an experienced doula a student learns how to be at births...when there is no pressure to do anything but observe and do what's asked by the doula, much is learned. Because my training is in intensive format meant to be taken on the road to whomever would like to host it, I cannot personally provide apprenticeship to all my students. But I would like to.
What I will be doing is creating a MotherWit Birth Doula Mentorship weekend workshop. It will be for any doula, no matter her training, who has attended at least 30 documented births. This workshop will bridge the gaps between my training and other trainings, and provide instruction on how to effectively mentor a novice MotherWit trained doula through her first births. Mentorship trainees will learn about how to draw out the strengths of her apprentice, provide constructive criticism, how to guide her towards improving her skills , and show her the ropes of the birthing centres in her area.
Essentially, the mentor "doulas" the novice doula as she finds her way as a birth attendant. While a doula mothers the mother, the job as mentor is to be a "big sister". The average amount for a mentor to be paid for a 2 or 3 birth apprenticeship is anywhere from $300 to $600, depending upon the doula's availability and experience.
In my experience, having an extra set of hands from a willing apprentice and someone to chat with and bounce ideas off is a fun and rewarding. I love seeing a doula really come into her own as she gets to use what she's learned to help a woman birth.
Check early January 2010 for more details on motherwit.ca