Becoming a Volunteer Doula

The DC Community of Hope Birth Center is taking applications for volunteer doulas and I have thrown my name in!!!

CoH is an organization that provides healthcare, housing services and educational opportunities for low-income, homeless, and underserved families and individuals INCLUDING labor support to women at no cost to them.

Doulas have 12 or 24 hour shifts. It would be great if I could spend a weekend a month there, assisting the moms that come in to give birth during that time!! I am really looking forward to this opportunity!!



My DONA Certification Timeline and Checklist

Step One – Complete Required Reading

Step Two – Become a Member of DONA International

Step Three – Sign DONA International’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

Step Four – Complete a Resource List

Step Five – Attend a Childbirth Education Series

Step Six – Attend a DONA approved Birth Doula Workshop Cost

Step Seven – Purchase a Birth Doula Certification Packet Cost

Step Eight – Attend a Breastfeeding Class

Step Nine – Attend Births Required for Certification

Step Ten – Write an Essay

Step Eleven – Complete the Basic Knowledge Self-Assessment

Step Twelve – Provide Two References

Step Thirteen – Pay Your Certification Processing Fee

The Doula Book

For an entire generation of new parents, this warm, expert work has become the standard guide to the shortest, easiest, and healthiest childbirth. Now a thoroughly updated and revised edition offers new research showing how labor support reduces the rate of cesarean sections, length of labor, need for pain medicine, and number of episiotomies. New material also demonstrates the positive effects of having a doula on mother-infant bonding, how relatives or friends can be trained in labor support, and how hypnosis is used to ease and shorten labor. No expectant parent will want to be without this empowering and irreplaceable book.

More and more parents-to-be all over the world are choosing the comfort and reassuring support of birth with a trained labor companion called a “doula.” This warm, authoritative, and irreplaceable guide completely updates the authors’ earlier book, Mothering the Mother, and adds much new and important research. In addition to basic advice on finding and working with a doula, the authors show how a doula reduces the need for cesarean section, shortens the length of labor, decreases the pain medication required, and enhances bonding and breast feeding. The authors, world-renowned authorities on childbirth with combined experience of over 100 years working with laboring women, have made their book indispensable to every woman who wants the healthiest, safest, and most joyful possible birth experience.

What is a Doula?

A doula (pronounced “doó la”) also known as a labor coach and originating from the Ancient Greek word meaning female servant or slave; is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support. The provision of continuous support during labor by doulas, or nurses, family, or friends, is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.

In contrast to the goal of medical professionals (a safe childbirth), the goal of a doula is to ensure the mother feels safe and confident before, during, and after delivery.

From Wikipedia

First Required Reading List

My friend Iris asked me to be her Doula/Birth Coach!! I am soooo excited!!

Doing my research, I came up on DONA, DONA is the self proclaimed “oldest, largest and most respected doula association in the world”.

Let’s get this party started:

The following two books:

• Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, The Doula Book, 2nd edition, 2002

• Simkin, The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions, 3rd edition, 2008

At least one of the following:

• Kitzinger, The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, 4th edition, 2004

• Simkin, Whalley & Keppler, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide, revised, 2001

• Douglas, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: the Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between, 2002

• Whalley, Simkin & Keppler, The Simple Guide to Having a Baby, 2005

At least one of the following:

• Harper, Gentle Birth Choices: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions about Birthing Centers, Birth Attendants, Water Birth, Home Birth, Hospital Birth, revised 2005

• Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, 2004

• Peterson, An Easier Childbirth: A Mother’s Guide for Birthing Normally, 1993

• Goer, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, 1999

At least one of the following:

• Mohrbacher, Stock & Newton, The Breastfeeding Answer Book, 3rd edition

• Mohrbacher & Kendall-Tackett, Breastfeeding Made Simple, 2005

• Newman & Pitman, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, 2000

• Newman & Pitman, Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, 2000

• Huggins & Lawrence, The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 5th edition, 2005