The VFvD is an organisation (founded 2007) that represents, trains, certifies, unifies and represents doulas in the Flemish (Dutch speaking) part of Belgium. The A.F.D.B. represents the doulas of French speaking Belgium.
The VFvD aims to guarantee the quality and continuity of support given to the pregnant woman and her partner before, during and after birth. It seeks to achieve this by strengthening the position of the doula, contributing to the development and professionalization of doulas, by acting as a representative organisation for doulas and by representing the common interests of its members.
The VFvD offers an annual course for doulas-to-be and organises several workshops to offer our working doulas the ability to deepen their knowledge, encourage self-development and expand their ways of working.
Various activities take place along the year such as numerous regional doula café’s (informal/casual meeting moments for doulas to connect and exchange experiences), an annual Doula Day (keeping up skills), and workshops with professional Flemish and international trainers in the birth field.
To be a member of the VFvD following admission criteria need to be met:
*One must be a woman of at least 18 years old
*One must be a certified doula. A doula becomes VFvD-certificated if she completed the VFvD training or other doula training recognised by the VFvD, or if she can prove experience. Therefor she needs to attempt at least 10 births, along with 3 evaluation forms from the mother/couple and medical staff and self-reflective birth stories.
*One must attend at least 2 births and 2 in-service trainings every year.
*One must subscribe the VFvD code of practice and the internal rules of operation.
Our doula training comprises home reading and three intense weekend courses, involving birth physiology, communication skills, self-reflection, techniques and skills to support during birth, breastfeeding, dealing with loss etc.
Much significance is given to encounter, connect and exchange with the other doulas and an ample syllabus is provided.
The doula in training obtains certification whens she has supported 3 mothers/couples before, during and after the birth of their baby, along with an assessment of the parents and medical staff about how the support has been experienced and a self-reflective birth story for each attended birth.
During the training period we provide mentorship by the trainers and experienced doulas, thus facilitating the doula in training to find confidence in her work, find her own style and exchange about her first working experiences. The doulas-to-be stay closely connected with each other throughout several events during the period of their apprenticeship and a private Facebook group where they can exchange about their envelopment as doulas.
A doula can as well become VFvD certificated if she can proof experience (see above) or followed a training recognised by the VFvD. If the course doesn’t comprise any practical experience, the doula is asked to attend 3 births as an apprentice, as described above for doulas in the VFvD-training. During this period she will as well get mentor support.
Establishing the doula
With our members we regularly join baby fairs along Flanders to increase the visibility of our organisation and establishment of our profession. We promote the familiarity with our profession trough informational flyers, our website and social media. Through information sessions on f.e. secondary schools we aim to plant seeds in young adults’ consciousness about birth choices and women empowerment. We actively enhance our connection and cooperation with midwives, obstetricians, breastfeeding organisations, hospitals etc. and stay in touch with doula organisations abroad.
We try to establish our profession by lobbying with our national health insurances to obtain refunds.
We promote cooperation between our doulas to backup each other, exchange experiences en enhance quality in our work by learning from each other.
Our website offers an overview of VFvD-recognised doulas, which gives visibility to our doula members and offers a quality guarantee for parents searching for a doula that followed a certified training.
Contact: Veerle Peeters +32 472 46 25 99