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 build a sustainable career in a rewarding and 
revolutionary field?
Provided by 

Debra Catlin


Debra Catlin

30 Years  
in Perinatal Education

ICEA Certifed Childbirth and Postnatal Educator
DONA International Certified Birth Doula Trainer
Education and Resource Chair of Oregon Doula Association​

About Your Instructor
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. 

Can I make a living doing doula work?

Yes, It is truly possible to combine a sustainable career with being a professional, practicing social justice, AND following our passion. Everyone has different goals for being a birth doula and if it is your desire to build a practice to the point of fully supporting yourself that is entirely feasible by dedicating time and hard work to do so. The Birth Doula Workshop will equip you with tools and a marketing plan to get your practice off to a good start. I firmly believe that doulas should be valued for the work we do by being fairly compensated, whether through private pay clients, community organizations, or the health care system. As a Board member of the Oregon Doula Association, we are dedicated to making this a reality, as only through sustainability will we retain the treasured experience of committed doulas.

  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
 Eugene, Bend, Medford, Salem, Seaside

Approved by                                

  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!
Why I am DONA Proud!

Click here

Jesse Remer, Courtney Everson, and Debra Catlin
Presented at DONA Conference 2016
 in Bellevue, WA
Why I am #DONAProud

I have been a DONA International approved birth doula trainer for 22 years and just renewed my approval for another 3 years. Needless to say, I am proud to train for this highly recognized organization for many reasons. The foundation of our workshop curriculum is clearly grounded in meeting the psychosocial needs of birthing families, providing continuous companionship that is individualized and therapeutic, supporting physiological birth, and facilitating communication and relationships.

Our standards of professionalism are held high, whether a doula simply wants to help out friends and family when they have children or when the doula wants to build a very rewarding career doing what she/he loves. Developing competency as a doula is reflected in the core training, certification requirements, and continuing education expectations. As a trainer our criteria for approval and re-approval are rigorous, expecting us to remain current and teach from an evidence based perspective.

 One of the core concepts that stands out the most with DONA is the emphasis on “fostering maximum determination” for the client’s birth experience. I hear so much about empowering birthing persons, yet few understand that really means that we are in pure service to our client’s needs and choices. It means not projecting our own agenda or judging them for their decisions, as that may create emotional damage in an already challenging task. There are enough people telling them what to do, rather than asking them what they want and need in any given moment on their unique birth journey. We can only provide tools and information for clients to empower themselves through many possible avenues.

DONA’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics have evolved over the years to address issues that have arisen in the doula world, particularly our Scope of Practice. Being involved since the early years, the need to clarify our role and responsibilities, what we do and don’t do, helps to protect our model of care so we can focus on those things that make a true difference in the holistic health outcomes of the families we serve, complementing the roles of the other members of the care team. Teamwork is paramount. I have worked with many other birth professionals and they appreciate how DONA doulas understand ways to effectively support our clients in gathering information to make decisions instead of improperly influencing them. This also protects the families, us, and our profession as well. Because so many doulas also ally other services, it helps to spell out how to offer these in a responsible way and without muddying the waters of what doulas do.

As doulas are becoming more utilized, and even being integrated into maternity care, a dream since the very beginning, DONA has responded to the need to assist newly trained doulas in building their business practices as well as their knowledge and skills. Other training organizations have surfaced in the last few years, some emphasizing the financial aspects more strongly. I believe DONA provides the best of both worlds. DONA has equipped us as instructors with more business tools to pass on to our trainees and there are more resources available to the new doulas as well.

 We have come a long way since the doula movement started and it is not far off the horizon to think that before long DONA’s vision of “A Doula for every birthing person who wants one,” will be realized, especially now that the health care system is recognizing our benefit and is investing in programs that finance doula support for our families most in need of doula care.