Amy L. Gilliland, Ph.D., AdvCD(DONA), CSES (AASECT) researches and teaches about doula labor support, women’s sexual experiences, infant mental health, and the psychological needs of people during the birth experience. She is an AASECT certified sexuality educator supervisor, past psychology faculty at Madison College, and one of the first DONA International birth doula trainers. In her thirty plus year career, her work has spanned the perinatal spectrum. As a UW Madison research fellow, her current projects include a critical analysis of the birth doula profession and completing her model of human childbirth as an attachment based neurological activity.
Dr. Gilliland’s previous research has been published in JOGNN, Midwifery, The Journal of Perinatal Education, Sexuality and Culture, and the Wisconsin Medical Journal. She is considered to be a thought leader and visionary on birth doula issues through her influential blog, Doulaing The Doula, and her new book, The Heart of the Doula: Essentials for Practice and Life.
(brief) Amy L. Gilliland, Ph.D., AdvCD(DONA), CSES (AASECT), is a highly regarded birth doula researcher, one of the first DONA International birth doula trainers, and infant mental health expert with specialized training in attachment and interpersonal communication. Dr. Gilliland is licensed as a California Board of Nursing Continuing Education Provider #16959.
Credentials and Industry Differentiators
- World Class Doula Trainer – Participants regularly travel thousands of miles to train with me.
- Researcher/Doula/Trainer Combo – only doula researcher who also trains doulas
- Evidence Based Trainings – Highest quality research evidence conveyed in all presentations and trainings
- Serves on Dane County pre-FIMR committee, reviewing fetal, infant and maternal deaths quarterly
- California Board of Nursing Licensed Continuing Education Provider #16959 - only birth doula trainer with this credential
- WTCS certified – Certified in Adult Education by the WI Technical College System
- Adult Learning Principles – Active engagement with attention to different learning styles present in every course
- Two teaching awards (nominated by technical college students)
- Trained over 1,500 people to do professional labor support since 1997
- 99% of participants feel confident in their ability to be a successful doula
- Original research published in five peer reviewed journals and two books (chapter author)
- Author, The Heart of the Doula: Essentials for Practice and Life (2018)
- Only AASECT certified sexuality educator supervisor and birth doula trainer combination in the world
- Highly respected in the doula profession as a thought leader with a global following
- Headliner at two statewide perinatal conferences and featured speaker at over a dozen others
- Writing about doulas for doulas on cutting edge topics since 1995
- Global following with guest podcasts in New Zealand and Sweden and essays translated into Spanish and Italian
- Local roots – started a regional doula organization in 1991 that is still going strong
- Respected by medical professionals - asked to serve on the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care Board of Directors for two consecutive terms; over 22 hospitals as satisfied clients for continuing education workshops
Racial Justice Statement:
In the perinatal field we face the challenge of providing care to many different kinds of people in a multicultural world. As a White person I am also negotiating the impact of racism and decades of health care manipulation and distrust with patients and clients of color. Understanding the social experiences and impacts of these events in today’s people’s bodies and psyches is necessary for me as an educator and researcher. Addressing and healing racial disparities between Black, Brown and White people and their babies is central to my purpose. I also understand that people differ in their understanding of these impacts and feelings about them.
In order to increase my racial awareness and effectiveness, I have taken several workshops and trainings, including receiving a racial justice course completion certificate from the YWCA. I continue to engage and challenge myself on a frequent basis by reading, discussing, participating in accountability groups, and having personal relationships with people of different faiths, ethnicities, and races. Whether I am talking to mostly White, mixed, Brown or Black participant groups my goal is to see their reality and inspire people through learning and skill development to be their best selves.
I understand the full meaning and impact of Reproductive Justice, support the reproductive justice movement, and it's importance for the healthy future of all people in the Americas.