The purpose of the Volunteer Doula Program at Welcome Home Midwifery Services, Inc. is to provide free doula support to every laboring client in need who is admitted to Welcome Home Community Birth Center.
The word Doula comes from the Greek word meaning "woman who serves," however doulas at WHCBC can be any gender.
WHMS volunteer doulas are non-clinical members of the care team who provide support in accordance with the midwifery model of care. The doula's role includes emotional, physical, and informational support during the childbearing process. Over 60 percent of WHCBC births are attended by doulas.
All Doulas providing care at WHCBC have received in-depth training about the physiologic process of birth as well as hands-on training in how to provide support to a birthing parent and their partner during the childbirth process.
Requesting a Doula
If you would like a doula at your birth, let a member of your midwifery care team know when you are admitted to WHCBC in labor. All families who have their care transferred to a hospital will be reminded that doula support is available.
Becoming a Volunteer Doula with WHMS
The Volunteer Doula Program is facilitated by Welcome Home Midwifery Services, Inc. staff who have many years of experience supporting families in labor. We greatly appreciate having prospective volunteer doulas join our labor support team.
Acceptance to the program is based on an application and interview process. A Volunteer Doula orientation is held annually, and is required prior to Volunteer Doulas attending births at WHCBC.
Our doula program is a highly sought after opportunity with rigorous requirements. Those who apply, and are accepted to the program, agree to be on call a minimum of twice per month, for 12 hours at a time.
Interested in becoming a doula? Please review the volunteer requirements below. Then, complete the below online application to be considered for the program.
We are accepting trained Birth Doulas only. Documentation of attending a doula training must be provided prior to enrolling as a Volunteer Doula with WHMS. Some options for Birth Doula training include:
Volunteers must possess the maturity, responsibility, and interpersonal skills to interact safely with clients, staff, and other volunteers in a complex organization. Volunteers must be able to see and hear well enough to communicate in person or on the telephone with ease.
Volunteers need to have manual dexterity and be able to read to assist with paperwork and perform physical support to laboring clients independently. Volunteers must have strength and stamina to perform physical support to clients for up to 12 hours at a time, at least twice per month.
Volunteers agree to serve on-call for 12 hours at a time at a minimum of twice per month. This requires an on and working cellphone with text message capability. Volunteers who do not respond to calls during their on-call window will have their placement terminated.
Volunteer Doulas are occasionally invited to stay past the length of their shift to maintain continuity of care with their laboring client, however this is not required.
Volunteer Doulas are expected to accompany families from WHCBC to a hospital in the event of a transfer of care, and to maintain continuity of care during that transport. For this reason, a current Driver's License and auto insurance, as well as a reliable vehicle, are required for placement.
As our Volunteer Doulas provide continuity of care when a client is transferred to a hospital, occasionally you may be called for a birth center-turned-hospital birth at any of our local hospitals.
Volunteers must be able to pass a criminal background check. WHCBC requires background checks for all employees and volunteers. The purpose of the background check process is to identify any felony or related misdemeanor criminal convictions that an individual may have. Applicants will be asked to complete a background check.
Volunteers are required to be screened for tuberculosis and have documented immunity to the following diseases: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, and Varicella.
Evidence of immunity is defined as written documentation of: (1) immunization record (i.e. copy of immunization record card, health record printout, etc), OR (2) copy of laboratory result confirming disease or immunity (i.e. serology results) or as otherwise determined by our Clinical Director. Volunteers may visit their own health provider to meet the health requirements not otherwise provided by WHMS.
Current Pertussis, Hepatitis B, and flu vaccines are strongly recommended but not required for volunteer doulas.
Volunteers must be able to speak and read English fluently.