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Frequently Asked Questions

CCRMC Volunteer Doula Program


Should I become a CCRMC Volunteer Doula?

Does the following apply to you? Interest and/or experience with the doula role, courage, caring, diplomacy, passion for volunteerism, team-player, time, endurance, a supportive touch, a way with encouraging words, comfortable with diversity, and willingness to work with - and physically support - bodies of all kinds. If so, you may be a good match for this role! Read on to ensure you understand the requirements of becoming a Volunteer Doula before you apply on through our website.

How can I make a Donation to this Program?

We know that not everyone has time or ability to volunteer in this capacity, but we invite you to add your support and help us offer this service to women and people who might not otherwise access doula support.

Or, if you plan to volunteer but want to contribute to your training costs, your donations or those you raise from your community, are one hundred percent optional and very welcome.

Tax-deductible donations to our Program can be made payable to the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation with "Doula Program" in the memo line, at 2500 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez, CA 94553.

What are the requirements to be a CCRMC Volunteer Doula?

CCRMC Doulas must show an aptitude for the birth doula role, specifically for supporting birthing persons through their hospital experience as an integrated part of the hospital team. Doulas should not present their own agenda, but rather help create a positive birth experience for patients and families according to the needs and wishes of the birthing person herself. Doulas must be physically capable of standing, sitting, and supporting patients for shifts of 4 hours or more in length. Doulas must be 21 years of age or older. Doulas must provide 8 hours of service/month for 12 consecutive months minimum. Doulas receive a Certificate upon finishing their minimum requirements with 100 or more hours of service, at which time they may request a letter of recommendation from leaders of the Program. Once doulas complete their training, orientation and shadowing, they may volunteer as a doula supporting direct patient care. Doulas demonstrate their commitment to skills growth and excellence with a requirement for continuing education and receive evaluations for quality assurance. Doulas must comply with hours recording processes. Doulas are expected to maintain their minimum requirements as long as they are part of the program. Most importantly, we invite all of our doulas to volunteer more than the minimum 8 hours/ month because those who do so report a greater sense of satisfaction and benefit to patients and themselves. During the application and interview process, we will ensure candidates understand what a doula is, can articulate why they want to be a volunteer doula and provide services at our facility specifically, and can realistically meet or exceed the minimum program hours. Furthermore, during the interview and training process, and ongoing, doulas should demonstrate professional timely communications with Program administrators.

How do I become a CCRMC Volunteer Doula?

Before you apply, carefully consider the Program expectations described here. No prior doula or lactation training is required. To become a Volunteer Doula, submit an application to begin our interview and background check process. Once admitted you must attend our Program's 2-day New Doula Training. Our training is comparable to other Doula Certifications. New Doula Trainings are offered on a rolling basis, and offered to our volunteers at no cost, in exchange for your service.

To apply, please submit your application through the online portal on this website during one of our rolling open application periods. We look forward to your application!

Application Portal: CLOSED.

What to expect after you apply: If your application is approved, a representative of the Program will contact you to arrange a phone interview. After a successful interview confirming that you are a good match and available to the commitment of this program, you will be referred to the Volunteer Office to join the hospital team as volunteer. This process will include a health inventory and background check. This will need to be completed prior to attending the mandatory New Doula Training.

How are new Doulas trained?

Doulas in our program are required to attend our New Doula Training, a two-day, CCRMC-specific workshop. This includes education in birth doula scope and techniques, orientation to the hospital policies and perinatal unit. During this training you will begin your education as a CCRMC doula, building a foundation of knowledge and skills for supporting people through labor, birth, breastfeeding and recovery. Once this initial training is completed, new Doulas receive a hospital badge and begin hands-on service as orientees. New doulas complete their orientation to the program by shadowing a more experienced doula for 8 hours or more, before attending to patients on solo shifts. Doulas continue their education and training throughout their service, in the spirit of building on their foundational knowledge, with the Program's continuing education requirement, learning from experiences and other resources. Doulas help each other whenever possible through organized peer mentorship and a supportive doula community, with regular meetings and check-ins. An additional option exists to pursue further lactation support training as a doula.

How are Doulas supervised?

Doulas work directly with hospital staff, nurses, clerks, fellow doulas, and lactation consultants. Nurses and staff are the direct supervisors of the doula on shift. Program administrators supervise doulas and offer support and guidance to achieve the Program requirements. Doulas are formally evaluated by hospital staff and patients to ensure quality service.

What kinds of shifts do Doulas attend?

Doulas provide at least 8 hours of doula service per month, with shifts at least 4 hours long. Doulas provide service while patients are in the perinatal unit of the hospital only. Laboring patients requesting doula support are the priority for the doula on service. In-hospital nursery and postpartum unit services may be requested of the doula, as well. Doulas may also help staff with relevant volunteer tasks on the unit like delivering perinatal patient specimens to the lab. The program also offers opportunities beyond direct doula service: interested doulas provide peer mentorship, help with administration of the program, lead hospital tours for pregnant patients and families, and more. Our volunteer doulas provide service any time, 24/7. Shifts are expected to be scheduled ahead of time (minimum one shift per month) and marked on a shared electronic calendar. Doulas may also elect to respond when available to a "Doula Needed" text message sent via WhatsApp messages from the unit.

Contact Us

For Doula Program inquiries, contact ccrmcdoulas@cchealth.org.

Contact the CCRMC Volunteer Department for general volunteer inquiries: 925-370-5440.