Are you passionate about:   
Birth?  Babies?  Women?  Families?

Do you like to nurture and support others?

Would you like to make a difference 
in the lives of people at the most formative time 
of human development?

Would you like to work in a rewarding 
and revolutionary field?

Debra Catlin

26 Years  
in Perinatal Education

ICEA Certifed Childbirth and Postnatal Educator
DONA International Certified Birth Doula Trainer

About Your Instructor
Provided by 

Debra Catlin

2009 Bend Workshop Attendees wearing 
colorful Rebozos provided by Anne Carlson!
Check the
Workshop Schedule

for dates and locations throughout Oregon.

To register for a workshop,
Click here.

For information on

Becoming a Birth Doula

Click here

What is the role of a Birth Doula?

    A Birth Doula is a knowledgeable and skilled caregiver of childbearing families, who provides physical comfort,        
    emotional support, and information before, during, and just after childbirth. A birth doula does not have to be a     mother or a medical professional, rather a warm, caring, and accepting person who takes pride in being a     professional. As the latest professional to join the maternity care team, Doulas play a unique role in assisting     families to have both a safe and memorable birth.  

   Birth Doulas practice in hospital, birth center, and home birth settings, with all types of maternity care providers.   
   The birth doula brings back a kind of care that’s been missing in modern childbirth and is complementary to 
   clinical care.

   A doula meets with the family to discuss their needs and concerns, priorities, coping strategies, plans for the 
   birth, and how they will work together as a team.

   The doula utilizes strategies that promote the normal process of birth, reduce stress and pain, and speed labor 
   progress. Doulas provide continuous emotional support under all circumstances, and guidance for partners and 
   family members, enhancing their participation.

   Doulas offer education and support, breastfeeding help, debriefing of the birth, and ongoing follow-up to promote  
   a healthy postpartum recovery and positive family adjustment.

Doulas make a difference!

   A Doula’s primary focus is on meeting the physical and emotional needs of the birthing woman and her family.  
   She is able to solely dedicate herself this way because she works with one client at a time, stays with the family 
   throughout the entire birth, and is not involved in clinical care tasks. She adds continuous presence, calmness, 
   objectivity, knowledge and skills to the loving service of others that the woman chooses to support her. If 
   problems occur or a need for medical intervention arises, the doula facilitates communication with the family and 
   clinical care providers, maintains emotional connection and human touch, and advocates for the families’ wishes.

    Studies have verified that the presence of a Birth Doula:

        ☼ Reduces stress and shortens labor

        ☼ Increases mother’s feelings of control

        ☼ Enhances the partner’s participation

        ☼ Decreases interventions and cesareans

        ☼ Builds the mother’s self-esteem

        ☼ Improves outcomes for newborns

        ☼ Facilitates parent-infant bonding

        ☼ Decreases postpartum depression 

        ☼ Increases positive feelings about the birth experience

Life of a Birth Doula

  As a Birth Doula, our role encompasses a package of services that involve both pre and post natal visits with our   
  clients to conduct interviews, assess the family’s adjustment or need for community resources, and to also  
  attend the entire birth and stay for the immediate postpartum period. Phone calls as needed are a part of our 
  service.  For each family, the time spent would be approximately 25 hours.

  The average doula takes 1-2 clients a month, but this is entirely up to the individual, with some taking up to 5 or 6 
  working in a teamwork situation, and others taking much less. In addition, we spend time towards developing our 
  personal businesses-marketing our services, networking, keeping accounts of income and expenses, purchasing 
  supplies, and maintaining continuing education requirements. 


  Above all, it is an honor to be invited into one of the most miraculous events of a lifetime, the arrival of a new 
  human being on the planet and the creation or expansion of a family. Deep feelings of satisfaction accompany 
  each experience of providing labor support, as you tangibly know that your presence made a difference on many 
  levels, no matter what the outcome of the birth. Witnessing the raw power and strength of women, the melting of 
  a father’s heart as he holds his newborn, and the incredible intelligence and consciousness of a brand new baby 
  is fulfilling indeed. Being able to be of service at a critical time of human development confirms that what you do 
  will ripple into the lives of the families you support far into their futures and into society.  

  There are many other advantages of this career. Networking collaboratively with other Doulas, who are just 
  amazing women, is another source of satisfaction. Many Birth Doulas provide additional services to childbearing 
  families such as childbirth education, postpartum doula services, massage therapy, or birth counseling to 
  supplement their incomes. If you quest for new knowledge and skills, this field is a constant source of discovery. 
  Logistical aspects, such as being able to determine your own schedule, how much work you will take on, whether 
  part or full time is a bonus. For those of us in the field, the many joys we experience far outweigh the challenges  
  of this work.


  Most Birth Doulas will say that being on call is the biggest challenge, as we must be ready to join our families as 
  soon as they contact us. We are usually on call 2 weeks prior to a client’s guess date and until she gives birth. 
  Being at a birth for unpredictable hours goes along with that, which also means having physical endurance and 
  strength for those long births. So being able to arrange your life to accommodate this is a must, especially with 
  childcare. You must have other financial resources while you build your practice, which takes patience and effort. 

  Perhaps the aspect of being able to whole-heartedly support women’s choices regarding their birth experience is 
  trying at times, which is at the core of true support. To be able to be accepting and non-judgmental towards 
  people of differing backgrounds or values tests us often. 

  Another challenging aspect is working within a maternity care system that is highly medicalized, fearful, and often 
  limited in knowledge about the normal and physiological aspects of childbirth, which the birth doula is trained in.  
  However, the presence of Doulas has helped to bridge this gap both with parents and other professionals. Over 
  and over, research has proven the benefit to families of psychosocial support, the primary reason for our role, 
  which has been missing or limited for generations. 

  In your Birth Doula Workshop, we will be addressing all of these issues in more detail!


For a description of the 

Birth Doula 
Workshop Agenda 
and Fees

Click Here
Birth Doula Training 
workshops throughout Oregon
Portland, Eugene, Bend, Medford, Salem

Approved by DONA International

  If you answered YES to these questions, 
learn more about the 

Role and Life of A Birth Doula  

Then explore the pages here to learn how to become a Doula, sign up for your Birth Doula Workshop, and get started in providing professional labor support services in your community!