Life Cycles Collective Doulas (LCCD)
The program began as Life Cycles certification in collaboration with Buffalo Midwifery Services. LuAnn Conte and Gina Varney (Buffalo Doula Collective members) certified as Life Cycle doula trainers. With the blessing of the founder of Life Cycles Center, Eileen Stewart, LuAnn and Gina used the original Life Cycle birth doula training model. They then expanded on that program to meet the needs of the growing doula community.
After hundreds of births in the roles of nurse, doula, midwife apprentice, and mothers themselves, LuAnn and Gina chose to share their experiences and create a model for training doulas they wished had been available to them. While they both valued their DONA training, they felt very much alone starting their journey as doulas. Taking their experiences and knowledge, and having listened to the needs of doulas in the community and across the country, they worked to create a certification program that includes shadowing, mentoring, continuing education, and an opportunity to be a part of a collective. Unlike other programs, all aspects of the certification are done locally; in the community you receive your training. It is a model they are sharing first in their hometown, Buffalo, and plan to share with communities around the world.
How does it work?
The certification process begins with a three-day comprehensive training to prepare you for the role of a birth doula. LCCD offers advanced training in professional development, both during the workshop, and through a mentorship program with the Buffalo Doula Collective.
Once you have completed the workshop, you will be matched with a mentor from the Collective. Your mentor will be available to answer your questions and guide you through the certification process. She will also help you navigate the unique birth climate in our community. You will shadow your mentor during a birth, working with a family from the prenatal meetings to the postpartum visit. Once you have completed your first birth shadowing your mentor, you are ready to take a client of your own.
The Buffalo Doula Collective will help match you with clients through their referral service. Your training and mentoring will have prepared you for everything you need to work with your first family. Now, you are only lacking experience. It will benefit you and your client to have a place to turn for questions, support, and guidance; your mentor will be beside you during the whole process, available for questions and resources, on call when you are, and able to join you at the birth if necessary. Due to the level of commitment, experience, time, and support you receive from mentor, a portion of the fee from your two required births will be paid to your assigned mentor. You will set the fee for your first clients, so your profit from your first births will be up to you. We will help prepare you to start your business, and you will be trained to serve as professional support. We encourage you to value your time, and the professional service you are offering.
Once you have completed the certification process you will have the option to join the Buffalo Doula Collective for continued support and backup; or if you prefer, begin your doula journey in the way that best suits your needs. Either way, you will have the opportunity to be a part of the continuing education opportunities the Collective offers.
- Complete the required reading
- Attend the 20 hour birth doula three day workshop $400
- Attend a childbirth education class of at least 8 hours through the Buffalo Doula Collective $75
- Attend a breastfeeding class offered through the Buffalo Doula Collective $25
- Shadow one birth, including prenatal and postpartum visits, with a Buffalo Doula Collective doula. The Buffalo Doula Collective will match you with a mentor doula. There is no fee to shadow a birth with your assigned mentor. Your Buffalo Doula Collective mentor will help prepare you for working with your first clients, adhering to the mission of professionalism set by the Collective. You will be trained to offer support to families with the backing of an experienced doula.
- Attend 2 births, providing doula services, with the support of your mentor.
- Attend a day long training with a member from the Collective to attend births in various settings in WNY $50
- Submit three evaluations from families you have worked with in the capacity of birth doula after attending the TCD workshop.