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Pregnancy

Finding a Qualified Doula

Finding a Doula

Locating a doula who provides the services needed is an important task. The following are sources for finding a doula in your community:

Questions to Ask a Prospective Doula

Qualifications of a Doula

DONA International – The Doula Standard

DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America), is a nonprofit organization that provides expert training and certification for women interested in becoming Doulas. DONA has more than 3,000 actively practicing certified doulas living and working in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. DONA has certified many Doulas and they hold their Doulas to a very strict code of conduct and certification.

Birth Doula

For a birth Doula, training focuses on the emotional needs of women in labor and non-medical physical and emotional comfort measures. The programs require that participants have some prior knowledge, training and experience relating to childbirth, and consists of an intensive two or three day seminar which includes hands-on practice of skills such as relaxation, breathing, positioning, and movements to reduce pain and enhances labor progress, touch, and other comfort measures.

For certification, the Doula must have a background of:

She must also complete the following:

Postpartum Doula

DONA International has exacting standards set to ensure top-quality postpartum support internationally. This evidence-based certification program includes:

Some private agencies train their own doulas and certify them under their own business name. Because of the variation of training practices, the knowledge base and qualifications of doulas can vary greatly. This lack of consistency compelled DONA International to research, write and implement an evidence-based program.

Postpartum Doula training focuses on preparing the Doula to support the family after birth and to help them have the best possible procedures. She learns about the physical and psychological needs of the postpartum period and development of the newborn. The Doula receives training on:

Thanks to Penny Simkin and Jamie Swan of DONA International for their valuable contributions.

Sources:

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Last Reviewed: Sep 12, 2007

John H Kennell, MD John H Kennell, MD
Formerly, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University