Lavender (Lavendula) Essential Oil for Pregnancy and Childbirth

I am currently developing an essential oils course for doulas.  As a part of the course, the student will be learning around 40 different oils.  One of my favorites to use, particularly during pregancy and birth, is lavender oil.  Below is an indepth look at what lavender oil is, how it is used, and any safety considerations.  Enjoy! Read more ›

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Birth Doula Training Starter Kit

Birth Doula Training Starter Kit - Only $20New Beginning Doula Training now offer access to our course training materials without registering for our training program. Up until recently, the manuals that we had prepared as a part of our exclusively online training program had only been available for those who register for the program. Now, for the nominal fee of $20, anyone can purchase and download the first part of our training program without the commitment to pay for the rest of the course costs. Read more ›

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New Doula Training Starter Kit Coming Soon; Early Finish Option Discontinued

In an effort to improve student retention for our online doula training, we are making some minor policy changes that will hopefully open up more opportunities for growing the program, while making our training materials generally more accessible.

Doula Training Starter Kit (Materials Only, Non-Certification)

Today we are announcing plans to make available for purchase a Doula Training Starter Kit. This starter kit will be materials only, and will give interested individuals a more in-depth option to preview the course before registering for the program. Read more ›

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A Hands-On Doula with a Distinct Perspective

Annie is a student who began her training earlier this year. She brings to our program a perspective on childbirth that is perhaps a little more hands on than most. Here’s how she introduced herself to us: Read more ›

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Posted in Birth Stories, Student Responses

Doula Brochures from Students

Early on in our birth doula training program, we ask students to complete an assignment that asks them create a handout explaining the role of a doula. This in turn allows our students to have piece of marketing material to promote their own services within their communities.

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Posted in Business Tools, Student Responses

Hypnobirthing: Fight or Flight and the Perception of Pain

Hypnobirthing: Fight or Flight and the Perception of Pain

Student Response by Cara Koehler

(Editor Note: This was first submitted as an assignment in our program. This student’s response is reprinted here with her permission.)

There are many different types of birthing classes & theories designed to explain labor pain and the best approach for coping with it. Most of these methods are based on the idea that birth is painful. Alternatively, hypnobirthing is based on the principle that:

When a woman feels fear during childbirth, her body releases stress hormones that trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response. This causes muscles to tighten and interferes with the birthing process. By training the subconscious mind to expect a safe, gentle birth, they say, women can avoid going into the fight-or-­flight state, allowing for a smoother birth.

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Student Response: Gestational Diabetes

One of the assignments my students do is how a doula can help when their client is diagnosed with a particular medical diagnosis.  Below is one student’s response of a great way to see what a doula can do for those who have gestational diabetes.

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How a Doula Helps During a C-Section

Many women who use doulas are looking to have a natural birth without medications.  Occasionally, though, emergencies happen, plans change, and a c-section is neccesary. I often get questioned on what a doula can do during a c-section to help support their clients.  Here’s a list of possible actions a doula can take to help support and comfort a woman who is in need of a c-section. Read more ›

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Posted in General, Medical Interventions

The Doula’s Role in Natural Inductions

As a nurse and a doula, medical inductions for non-medical reasons are at the top of my list of things that make me cringe.  In the birthing community, I have seen the concern growing with others also.   More and more, research has been coming out to show some of the problems associated with it.  What I have seen in response, though, is a trend towards trying to use more natural methods of induction, including more doulas advocating or being a part of the natural inductions.  I am not making a list here of all the ways to induce someone naturally, but rather exploring what role, if any, a doula can or should have with a natural induction. Read more ›

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Newborn Jaundice and How to Provide Support as a Doula

Newborn jaundice is when a baby has a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that the body creates when it replaces old red blood cells. The liver helps break down the substance so it can be removed from the body in the stool.

High levels of bilirubin make your baby’s skin and whites of the eyes look yellow. This is called jaundice.
National Library of Medicine

What to Do as a Doula

  • Make sure both mom and baby are eating/drinking well to ensure a good supply of breastmilk.
  • Assess fatigue in the mom.  Provide support overnight if needed, or provide time for her to nap during the day.
  • Assess breastfeeding. If there are issues, make sure the mom gets the help she needs. Look for local support groups.
  • With the involvement of the care provider, try natural methods of decreasing bilirubin levels.
  • Help her work through the loss of her ideal birth.

Education and Support

Make sure mom has all her questions answered and feels that she has been given enough information to make an informed decision.

Allow the mom to express any fears or anxieties she may have about the situation. Address any of these fears with more information or other ways of reducing anxiety. (Mindfulness works great in situations like these).

The mother may need extra support at home to focus on her breastfeeding relationship or if her newborn needs an extended stay in the hospital. A doula can help coordinate meals, help with housework, and childcare.

The mom may feel like she did something wrong and may need help and support understanding how she can help her infant at this time.

For more information see:

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Posted in Doula Action, General, Misconceptions
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