Dedicated to the Development of Doulas and Our Profession

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A World Where We Didn’t Need Doulas

Maybe it comes from being weaned on Star Trek reruns but I’ve often contemplated alternate universes.  The kind where if a different decision had been made the whole future course of humanity would be altered.  Recently I’ve contemplated what if we had a birth culture today where professional doulas weren’t necessary?  Going back in time, the critical point seems to be a little over one hundred years ago with women deciding to give birth in hospitals.

Like mo…

Amy Gilliand Portrait
How Doulas Undermine Our Own Value (it’s not free births)

Anytime I read a “doula” writing online that she knows everything she needs to know already, I want to burst. You know what? You don’t. When you say that, you devalue the entire process of skill development in labor support. What you imply is you already know everything you need to and that anyone can do labor support effectively with only a few days of training (or a few months in a correspondence course). I have never interviewed an expert doula or one who had been…

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Not Any Woman Can

One of my most hated myths about doula care is the idea that any woman can be a doula.  Just put a person born with a uterus in a labor room and she’ll be able to help effectively – with no preparation.  This is a myth that devalues what doulas do, and gets in the way of us being perceived as professionals. It also devalues the men who offer good doula care.  The myth that “any woman can” is even perpetuated by doulas, who may not realize the damage this idea does.…

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When A Past Client Dies

In my 30 years of doulaing, I have faced the death of a past client a half dozen times. Doulaing is intimate work and caring for mothers and partners creates a unique bond between us.  Each of the situations I faced was different but each time I started out feeling sad, uncertain and confused. I took the time to figure out the right course of action, one that I could feel good about long term. My hope is to guide you to the same peace.

This is not a time for…

Top 10 Questions for Choosing a Doula Training
Top Ten Questions For Choosing A Doula Training

I hear a lot on Facebook, “If I’d only known that before I took my training…”  The market for doula training has changed incredibly, especially in the last 5 years.  There are now at least two dozen doula training organizations with programs of varying quality.  The onus is now on the prospective doula to figure out which trainer and organization is the best fit for their personal and perinatal career goals.  My hope is that doulas will circulate this post to help ou…

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The BFF You Need To Meet: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists

You’ve never heard of a pelvic floor physical therapist?  You are not alone. Obstetricians and gynecologists are often unaware of the help PFPTs can offer their patients.  As a sexuality and birth professional pelvic PT’s are one of the most important referrals I make.  Women should not have to suffer sexual, urinary, rectal, or pelvic discomfort or pain!  A legacy of shame about our genitals may keep women from discussing postpartum and sexual problems.  When she do…

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