Introduction to Holistic Doula Care

babyThe following is offered in two 8-week online modules as part of the Holistic Doula program. 

Learning Activities

Students will complete 320 hours of theoretical coursework as part of instructor-led online courses. Learning activities include: reading assignments, video lectures, group discussion forums, problem-based learning exercises and online quizzes.

Time Commitment

Students should plan to spend approximately 15 hours per week dedicated to coursework, including

  • 1-2 hours of video-based lectures and group discussion per week and
  • 12-13 hours of reading and online assignments per week

Duration: Two sessions of 8-weeks

Core Competencies

Students will gain the essential skill set, knowledge, and perspective necessary to advocate for women’s health worldwide and to contribute to the overall physical and emotional health of mothers, babies, and families during pregnancy, childbirth and the initial postpartum period.
Core concepts include:

  • The doula’s role in providing continuity of care for childbearing families;
  • The basic anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum;
  • Complementary and alternative approaches to health care that
    • Prepare a woman for labor and birth
    • Support women and families during labor and birth
    • Foster bonding and attachment between mother and baby;
  • Breastfeeding support from initiation through early phases of breastfeeding;
  • Models for collaborative health care, informed consent, and shared decision making in a variety of maternal healthcare settings;
  • The impact of obstetrical interventions on mother and newborn;
  • The common issues and concerns that may arise for women and families during the postpartum period;
  • The supportive measures that can be beneficial to the emotional wellbeing of the mother and her family in the postpartum period;
  • The impact of racial, cultural and economic disparities in birth outcomes;
  • Techniques for effective listening and communication with clients and health care providers;
  • The importance of personal reflection, accountability and self-care in developing transparent and
  • beneficial client relationships;
  • How to create a thriving, community-centered doula business.
  • Complementary & alternative approaches to women’s health worldwide:
    • Explore public health and ethics that form the basis of high quality, culturally relevant, appropriate care for women, newborns and childbearing families.
    • Gain entry-level understanding of traditional and complimentary approaches to women’s health, including prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, fertility and family planning methods and well-woman care.
    • Build capacity for personal reflection and critical dialog about world culture, power dynamics and women’s issues as they relate to civic participation and social change.
    • Develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to be effective global leaders regardless of the industry or field.

Required Textbooks

  • A-Z for Healthy Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth, Jacky Bloemraad-de Boer
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, Sarah J. Buckley
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (4th ed.), Janet Walley and Penny Simkin
  • The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions (4th ed.), Penny Simkin
  • The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, and Phyllis H. Klaus
  • The Natural Pregnancy Book: Your Complete Guide to a Safe, Organic Pregnancy and Childbirth with Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices (3rd ed.), Aviva Jill Romm
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th ed.), Le Leche League
  • After the Baby’s Birth: A Woman’s Way to Wellness (e-book format), Robin Lim
  • The Doula Business Guide: Creating a Successful MotherBaby Business (2nd ed.), Patty Brennan

Take the next steps!

To learn more, please download the Course Catalog or Return to Program Overview. We invite you to contact usif you’d like to discuss further how the Holistic Doula program can serve you in your life and career.