Good afternoon Honourable Jane Philpott, MP, Minister of Health,
I am contacting you about fully recognizing Labour and Birth Doulas as a therapeutic and provincially covered profession across Canada.
The World Health Organization recently reported that the support of Doulas through Labour and Birth is best practice and that Doulas should become covered by our government.
Specific to that report dated March 23, 2016:
"All hospitals should implement programmes that offer continuous support to women during labour. The presence of a companion of the woman’s own choice should be permitted and encouraged. An alternative to this may be to integrate “doulas” in maternity wards for the provision of continuous support to women during labour. Doulas are lay women who have received special training to provide non-medical support to women and families during labour, childbirth and the postpartum period (7, 9). Policy-makers and administrators should recognize that the best outcomes are achieved when continuous labour support is provided by non-staff providers, especially doulas. This is particularly important where policy-makers wish to reduce high caesarean rates in their hospitals or country.
The costs of doula services, where available, are usually passed on to the mother’s family. These costs could be a barrier to the provision of continuous support. Considering all the advantages and possible lower costs to the health system associated with the presence of a doula (less likelihood of cesareans sections and analgesia use), covering the cost of doula services should be considered by policy-makers. Programmes for training and accreditation of doulas should be available in all regions of the country. Courses and programmes can be offered by public hospitals and primary health services for training community doulas."
For the full study please click here:
As the Director and Program Coordinator for one of Canada's Doula certification programs I see this as a great opportunity to work together. I would like to speak to someone about how we can implement Doula training and programs into current birth practice across the country.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs. Shaunacy King, BD, CBE
Director & Program Coordinator
Doula Training Canada
There’s a pandemic of shame happening in the Doula world right now and it’s time we cleared the air on the adult bullying and elitism currently running course.
The Doula profession has taken off in the past decade, with more people acknowledging the overall value in the attendance of a Doula through labour and into the postpartum period.
Big certification agencies are now competing with boutique certification agencies, all making claims that they are “premier,” “modern,” “professional,” and “comprehensive.” Each vy for the attention of potential students who are searching for the “right” certification agency for them. Their "Doula family," if you will.
Loyalty to a Doula organization, no different than loyalty to a family member, runs thick. Students and alumni square off to defend their own and herald the joys of their experiences. This is to be expected - after all they did choose them in the end!
Unfortunately as a result of this need to choose we have seen a number of our Doula sisters become subject to a stream of bullying that is uncalled for and completely unprofessional. The explicit questioning of ethnicity, language, and choice of certification agency by some of the “leaders” in certain organizations is, to be blunt, disgusting. These same people are teaching their students that it is important to book clients by being nurturing and professional, yet in the same breath demanding their audience “do what I say” or “hit the highway.”
Watching some of these conversations go down over social media is like watching the mean girls in fifth grade pass notes back in forth at the expense of their bullied victim. Like, super mature (insert eye roll).
Here’s the thing. The mean girl eventually just becomes known as a bully (I actually thought of another 5 letter ‘b’ word... but I’m playing nice today friends!). The bully's game becomes tiring and no one wants to play anymore. As Doulas become recognized by policy makers, and regulatory associations grow collaboration will prevail over competition. The mean girls may even find themselves on the outside looking in.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to Doula. There is YOUR way. Can certification organizations give you training and mentorship to move you toward success? We hope so!
However, what you do with the information you are given lies no where but with you. There is no magic bag of tricks to guarantee that you are going to be the most successful Doula in your community.
Do we want to mentor you to make it happen? Absolutely!
Can a certification agency guarantee it at the expense of others? No flipping way.
We applaud the growing body of certification options available to incoming Doulas. Personal choice and satisfaction is an important component to successfully fulfilling your Doula goals and living your passion each day. However, what we (insert I) do not condone is the tactics of bullying and elitism that some of these options are employing.
So, in stereotypical Canadian fashion. It’s time to play peacemaker. It’s time to play nice. No one likes to be bullied. It’s time for the Doula world to grow up and work collaboratively together. Are you ready to Doula Canada?
Here is a fantastic article by Amy Gilliland from "Doulaing the Doula" about things to consider when choosing a Doula Certification organization: Click Here.
Interested in sharing your thoughts on the Doula Canada page?