Don't worry! There are still ways for people with financial hardships to receive doula training or even become certified. Here are 3 options for those of you who are strapped for cash, but still would like to develop your skills in order to become a birth or postpartum doula.
Receive Free Training by Volunteering
Women pursuing a career as a doula can volunteer their time to work to side-by-side with experienced doulas. Although volunteer work is not paid, they will receive free training by experienced professional doulas. Receiving this type of mentorship will be a valuable learning experience. In fact, many certification programs require this type of training as a requirement for completing their curriculum.
If you are seeking to become a birth or labor doula, you can volunteer to assist a professional doula as she supports her client during her pregnancy and labor. If you want to become a postpartum doula, you can volunteer to assist during her client's postpartum period to support both the mother and newborn.
Many hospitals and birth centers that employ doulas have volunteer opportunities. Not only are you receiving training free of charge, you can also take advantage of networking opportunities as you are working alongside of other doulas and potential clients.
Apply for Financial Aid Through Doula Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants from doula training programs are available for people who enroll in the program. Some doula training workshops also offer a scholarship based on need. After enrolling or registering in the program or workshop, you must apply to the scholarship by writing an email to the organization or workshop instructor explaining your situation and why they should consider you to receive the scholarship.
Financial assistance through a training program is partial, meaning that they will pay off a portion of the tuition. However, unlike a loan, you do not need to pay back any funding assistance that you receive through the program. Both certification and online training programs can offer scholarships; don't be afraid to email the program coordinator to ask about any opportunities!
Crowdfund Your Training Through Gofundme and Indiegogo
Crowdfunding your education is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Crowdfunding sites such as Gofundme and Indiegogo utilize the power of viral social media to reach potential audience who can donate to your fund.
Many people raise money on these sites for their college education or to help pay unexpected expenses. Post a crowdfunding page that expresses your passion to become a doula and how that will enable you to support women and their families during the stressful time of childbirth. Set a realistic monetary goal and use Facebook and Twitter to bring awareness to your cause in order to fund your training.