Background

What is a Postpartum Doula?

The "fourth trimester," the period following birth, is often the most challenging and overlooked period in the transition to parenthood. Many new families in our society lack the continuity of care they need following the birth of their baby.

The postpartum doula helps meet this need by educating, nurturing and empowering mothers and families toward confidence in their new roles. Doulas may provide assistance with breastfeeding, newborn and mother care, and housework. They also provide referrals to community resources as needed.

Training @ Simkin Center

The Simkin Center has played an integral role in developing the postpartum doula movement in the Northwest. Participants in our first classes in 1995 founded the Northwest Association for Postpartum Support (NAPS), a professional organization providing peer support, continuing education and referrals. The Postpartum Doula Training meets NAPS’ training standards for certification. To contact NAPS, send them an email or call (206) 956-1955.

In February 2004, our postpartum doula training workshop received approval by DONA International. Our training was the first in the western U.S. to be approved. DONA approval allows someone who completes the course to begin the process of becoming a DONA International-certified postpartum doula.

Workshop Description

The Simkin Center Postpartum Doula Training is a four-day course. The curriculum includes:

  • The role of the doula in supporting breastfeeding
  • Bottle feeding safety and techniques
  • Nurturing families with more than one infant
  • New mother care
  • New baby care
  • Listening and communication skills
  • Integrating the birth experience
  • The emotional transition of the new family
  • Ethical conduct of postpartum doulas
  • Business aspects of a doula practice
  • Prenatal contact
  • Postpartum mood disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Comforting touch for new mothers
  • Case scenarios - the doula's role
  • Comfort and care for new babies
  • Community resources

Required Reading (latest editions encouraged)

Recommended Reading (latest editions encouraged)

  • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg 
  • Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
  • Intentional Interviewing and Counseling: Facilitating Client Development in a Multi-Cultural Society by Allen Ivey and Mary Ivey
  • The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins

Faculty

Two DONA-approved postpartum doula trainers (see Simkin Center faculty) lead each postpartum doula training.

Calendar

Oct
12
Saturday, 2019
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in 4 days, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Saturdays-Sundays, October 12-13 & 19-20, 2019
8am-5pm
$689

Feb
02
Sunday, 2020
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in 4 days, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Sundays & Mondays: February 2-3 & 9-10, 2020
8am-5pm
$689
Please contact us directly for more information on our Course Assistant positions.

Apr
02
Thursday, 2020
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in 4 days, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Thursday-Sunday: April 2-5, 2020
8am-5pm
$689
Please contact us directly for more information on our Course Assistant positions.

Jul
10
Friday, 2020
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in 4 days, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Fridays & Saturdays: July 10-11 & 17-18, 2020
8am-5pm
$689
Please contact us directly for more information on our Course Assistant positions.

Aug
31
Monday, 2020
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in 4 days, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Monday-Thursday: August 31 - September 3, 2020
8am-5pm
$689
Please contact us directly for more information on our Course Assistant positions.

Oct
06
Tuesday, 2020
Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

Gain postnatal competence, tools & capacity in our new evening series format, team-taught by qualified faculty since 1994.
Tuesdays & Thursdays: October 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 & 29, 2020.
5pm-9pm
$689
Please contact us directly for more information on our Course Assistant positions.

What Our Students Say

  • I feel with my life experience I will be able to [practice as a postpartum doula] with confidence [especially] with the added information about postpartum mental health and the business aspects [of doula practice].
  • You’ve opened my eyes in ways I never thought possible. This has really helped me for my new role as a grandmother!!
  • The Training was incredible! The healthy (physically/emotionally/mentally) attitude of instruction touches my heart. There is hope for this world, with all the wonderful trained doulas out there. One Mom at a time!
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