Dedicated to the Development of Doulas and Our Profession

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We Need ALL Kinds of Doulas

No we don’t.  We don’t need doulas that lack integrity, who interfere with a mother  getting an epidural or a cesarean, or who say nasty things to their clients about hospitals, doctors, nurses, or midwives.  In my experience these doulas may leave damage behind but they don’t usually last very long.  We hope.

What we have is a huge variety of doulas.  Doulaing is so important and integral to the process of supporting women in their birth experiences that it…

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Doulaing With A Disability

Often becoming a professional doula is an achievable goal.  But for others becoming or continuing as a doula with its physical demands is extremely difficult.  In my thirty years of doing labor support I have met several doulas who were able to maintain their careers.  After thirty years, I have had to make adaptations myself.  As my colleague Cory Silverberg once said, “If you live long enough you will end up with a disability.”  Here are some helpful steps if you r…

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We Need To Create Social Change That Values Caregiving

Recently I wrote about how we needed to increase the value of doula care in the minds of consumers, caregivers, and third party payers.  If we are to create a social revolution regarding the value of professional caregiving, doulas can do it.  Many of us are white, well educated, and have other sources of income besides doula work (Lantz et al. 2005).  Groups with these characteristics have greater influence.  For many years the majority of professional caregivers in…

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Should Doulas Offer Free Services Is The Wrong Question

It seems every doula with a blog has weighed in on the “no free births” debate and every doula with an opinion has expressed it on Facebook.  The debate usually goes something like this:

“If you don’t charge, you demean my services.  You make doula work appear unprofessional or not worth paying for.  By giving away your services, people are less likely to pay me for mine.  They won’t value what we do.  And since our customers usually employ us only once or tw…

WMJ magazine cover. Doulas in the delivery room: A look at economics and outcomes
Hard Research: Birth Doulas Save Insurers and Hospitals Money

I am absolutely THRILLED to begin my new blog with my latest journal article, published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal.  In this collaboration, our team estimated the immediate cost savings per delivery with in-hospital professional doula support in Wisconsin.  This article strives to fill the gap regarding the financial impact of doula care based on the assumption that certain interventions and procedures would be avoided due to the doula’s presence.  We actually…

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Labor Support – You Mean That’s A Profession?

In my twenty-five years of offering labor support professionally, there is one persistent challenge that our profession still faces:  that of legitimacy.  While people may be more knowledgeable about what the term doula means, they are still befuddled by what we actually do.  If you asked someone who already knew what a doula was, what a doula actually did, they would be hard pressed to describe it accurately.  Most people think (even those we think should know bette…

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