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Doula Volunteers FAQs

Hearts & Hands Program

What makes a good CCRMC Doula?

Do you have some combination of the following characteristics? Courage, caring, skills, diplomacy, service-minded, passionate, team-player, experience, time, endurance, a supportive touch, a way with encouraging words, acceptance of all types of self expression and diversity, confidence, and willingness to work with bodies of all kinds. If so, you may be a good match for this role!

How do I become a Volunteer Doula?

Submit an online application form. It may take two to three weeks to receive a response depending on the timing of your submission. Applicants are contacted in the order applications are received and are admitted in the order in which both interview and paperwork are completed. Interviews are held no later than one month prior to each training. This is a firm deadline to allow a full month for volunteer processing (e.g., background check and health inventory). During the application and intake process, we strive to ensure that applicants are a good match for the Program, can commit to the minimum service requirements, and that applicants demonstrate their ability to communicate professionally and in a timely fashion with Program administrators.

When are New Doula Trainings offered?

New Doula Trainings offered in March, June, September and December annually.

How are new Doulas trained?

Doulas attend our New Doula Training, a two-day workshop offered at no cost to participants, that involves education in doula scope, orientation to the hospital policies and unit, and training in doula techniques for supporting people through labor, birth, breastfeeding and recovery. Once the initial training workshop is completed, new Doulas receive a badge and begin hands-on service. Doulas new to the program are required to do at least one shift shadowing a more experienced doula. Doulas may work with more experienced peers until they feel confident and may work together further at anytime they wish to collaborate.

How are Doulas supervised?

Doulas help each other when possible. Doulas work directly and collegially with hospital staff, nurses, clerks, and lactation consultants. Doulas are evaluated by hospital staff and patients to ensure quality service and to take advantage of opportunities for growth.

What kinds of shifts do Doulas attend?

Doulas sign up for at least 8 hours of scheduled shifts per month on a shared electronic calendar. During shifts Doulas are present on Labor and Delivery Unit, ready to care for any patients who desire their services, or else awaiting a new patient to walk through the door. During shifts, support of laboring persons is the priority, but if none are currently desiring of Doula support, Doulas spend time in the nursery and postpartum units assisting with recovery, snuggling babies, and breastfeeding coaching - or with any other relevant tasks as directed by hospital staff. Doulas shall also prioritize tasks directed explicitly by hospital staff.

Doulas also respond as available to "Doula Needed" text messages sent from CCRMC's Labor and Delivery/Nursery/Postpartum Units whenever additional Doula service is needed. Responding to texts is optional and may count toward the minimum monthly 8 hours of service.

Doulas also can arrange (on their own) to be on-call for specific patients' births. Beyond working on Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and Nursery units, we offer additional opportunities such as administrative work for the Program, peer mentoring and sharing of expertise in special topics, leading patient tours of the hospital units, and helping lead childbirth preparation events in the community and at CCRMC.

What are the minimum requirements?

To be a Doula in good standing, CCRMC Doulas must complete 8 hours of service per month for 12 months minimum, including an 8 hours annual continuing education and a proctoring requirement. We invite all of our Doulas to spend more hours beyond the minimum, and continue longer than one year. Doulas are expected to maintain their minimum requirements as long as they are part of the program. Letters of recommendation and certificates of hours completed cannot be granted until the minimum annual commitment is completed.