The Childbirth International (CBI) training for birth doulas involves three separate "modules": Communication, Physiology, and Doula Skills. I have completed the Communications section and found it to be quite interesting. I liked how it focused on the variety of cultures and beliefs that our clients might have, and teaches us how to be effective listeners. It also talked about grief and talking to mothers after they have lost a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth, which was a difficult but very essential topic to read.
I'm about halfway through the section about Physiology. This module has been fascinating. I've learned about the physiology of pregnancy and labor, the changes that women and babies go through in the weeks after birth, proper nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, illnesses and diseases that affect both mothers and babies, and much more. It has been a ton of information, but I am truly impressed at the depth of information that CBI provides. I was worried that the content would be too light and that I would regret not going to an in-person DONA doula training. I think I made the right choice here -- while I might be missing out on the in-person face-to-face interaction with new doulas in my area, I think having this wealth of information in an easily accessible digital format will be a fantastic resource. I'm really satisfied with the course.
I still have a big paper to write for the Communications module, which has to be about a major emotional event in my life since I have never had a baby of my own. I also will have a big test after the Physiology module, and then the Birth Doula Skills module will be a long and meaty section with its own final test.
On the volunteer front, I've talked to the San Francisco General Hospital and passed my phone screen. Next week I am going to a meeting with all the other volunteer doulas, and then I'm going to be doing an orientation in November. I will also need to get a Tuberculosis test and some other health and background screening to comply with the hospital rules. This is all moving quickly and I'm so excited to start providing birth support as a volunteer doula in such a great hospital.