Dedicated to the Development of Doulas and Our Profession

Doula training participants listening to a training
Take a Doula Training, Change the World

Almost ten years ago I noticed many happy participants at the end of trainings but few people actually went on to become doulas. Being a researcher I decided to do a study, which was recently published as “What Motivates People To Take Birth Doula Trainings?” in the Journal of Perinatal Education, Summer 2016, Vol 25, No. 3. While I can’t repeat what was written for JPE because of copyright restrictions, the blog allows me to explore the findings of this research pro…

Woman wearing her baby representing ICWA
What U.S. Birth Professionals Need to Understand About ICWA

The Indian Child Welfare Act – why is that relevant to my practice?The laws concerning children’s rights changed earlier this year. Although standards vary among the 544 tribal nations recognized by the United States government, some tribes consider a person with one drop of Native American blood as a member.  While only slightly over five million people have full or partial Native American heritage, the growth rate within the population is more than double that of o…

Hospital Doula Agreements an Opportunity for Engagement. Text on image of documents
Hospital Agreements: An Opportunity For Engagement [Part II]

If a doula agreement is being waved in front of you, congratulations! It means that your doula community has gotten too large to ignore and is having enough of an impact that the hospital wants to exert some control. Now the real work begins, not with clients, but with the institutions where our clients are choosing to birth. You have an opportunity to create a collaborative atmosphere even if their actions seem hostile at the moment. This is politics, system change,…

Right Problem, Wrong Solution:Hospital Doula Agreements. Text on image of documents
Hospital Agreements: The Wrong Solution for the Right Problem

Birth doulas are concerned about hospitals requiring signed agreements in order for them to practice their livelihood on the facility’s grounds. Some agreements outline scope of practice behaviors and even have vaccination requirements. My concern is that these agreements are seen by hospital leaders as an easy solution, without realizing that agreements without prior negotiation lead to greater conflict and tension, thus worsening the situation for their staff rathe…

Doulas are Para-Professionals. Text over image of Doula performing prenatal massage therapy.
Doulas Are Paraprofessionals

Encouraging professional behavior by doulas is one of the purposes of this blog, but it needs to be clear that the doula occupation is a paraprofession, not a profession. Community based, hospital employed, and independent practice birth doulas clearly fit dictionary and research interpretations and even the U.S. Department of Labor classification. However postpartum doula work is not such a neat fit. One of the definitions for para…

Birthrape and the Doula. Text over turquoise ribbon image.
Birthrape And The Doula

“At many births, while I have my hand on a woman’s arm reminding her to breathe, someone has their hand in her vagina digging around, her eyes are wide, she’s trying to get away, screaming STOP… What do I do? What do I say? How do I help make it right? I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. It seems so wrong.” [excerpt from one email among many I’ve received over the years]

Dear Doula,

I wish I could tell you that these kinds of things only happen to you, t…

Sign-Up for access to Research, Articles, and Skills Development Tips

By signing up, you will receive access to free printable handouts, our newsletters, and more!

Sorry!

This content is for members only. Please log in or create a new account.

By joining, you agreed to receive an opt-in email for my occasional newsletter.  You will also have exclusive access to:

  • PDF copies of research articles
  • Archived copies of the inspirational newsletter, "Postcards From Doulaland"
  • Handouts from conference and continuing education sessions
  • Reference lists of my research topics
  • PDF copy of my dissertation
  • Opportunities for one-on-one consulting for your research study, doula program, or professional goal clarification.