I can’t thank [our doula] enough for helping our family welcome our daughter. She helped me and my husband through a fast-moving labor, and helped us get to the hospital just in the nick of time. She was excellent when it came to using massage techniques to relieve my pain during contractions.
About Birthways Doulas
Birthways has been helping families find the right doula “fit” since 1997. Our training, professional development, and experience – all exceeding any national doula certification guidelines – ensure the support that best meets your unique needs.
Birthways is not a referral agency, and all Birthways doulas are our employees. We aren’t just calling through a list of doulas who have registered with us. Instead, our intensive hiring, screening, training, and ongoing support system ensure the highest quality, evidence-based care for your family.
Birthways doulas know newborns, and know about the childbearing year. Birthways doulas join our group with a wide variety of experiences. Our doulas have included former nannies, grandmothers, health care professionals, and experienced mothers. What all of our doulas share is extensive newborn experience, knowledge of breastfeeding, and a deep desire to help new and expanding families welcome their new babies. Although we receive many, many applications when we expand our group, we only interview and hire a small percentage of applicants who meet our strict guidelines.
Birthways doulas are thoroughly screened. Birthways initial screening process includes:
- Background check
- TB testing
- Extensive reference check
- Two rounds of interviews
Our initial training exceeds national guidelines. Birthways doulas receive an initial 32-hour, evidence-based training provided by certified doulas, board certified lactation consultants, and psychologists, that includes:
- Care of new mothers, including management of postpartum discomforts
- Care of new babies
- Breastfeeding support
- Recognizing and supporting mothers experiencing perinatal mood disorders
We stay up to date on the evidence to make sure you have a source of accurate information at your side. While supporting your parenting confidence and vision, should you need some guidance, we are equipped to meet your needs and help you sort through the confusing array of ‘advice’.
Ongoing training deepens skills and keeps experienced doulas up-to-date. Birthways doulas participate in an ongoing training program that deepens their knowledge of care of new families. Recent topics have included:
- Understanding infant sleep
- Seeing Babies: Helping Parents Interpret Cues for Optimal Feeding/Sleeping and Development
- Slings and carriers
- Environmental Exposures: Safe Environments for the Childbearing Year and Beyond
- Fussy Babies: Supporting the Difficult to Soothe Infants and Their Parents
Extensive breastfeeding training and support for doulas. We invest in lactation education because a well-trained doula can help breastfeeding families avoid complications and get off to a great start. Birthways doulas receive quarterly advanced lactation sessions provided by a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) in addition to attending monthly case reviews. Recent topics have included:
- Getting Enough: Tools for Helping Parents Assess Intake of Their Newborn
- Breastfeeding Gadgets: Helping Mothers Survive and Succeed with Breastfeeding Interventions and Tools
- Nipple and Breast Pain: Being Pain Detectives for Quick Resolution
When extra help is needed, we have a unique team model where postpartum doulas work alongside IBCLCs to ensure a comprehensive and effective support team for mothers and their infants. Should a doula have a question about breastfeeding, they can access an IBCLC at any time for resources to share with the family they are caring for.
Ongoing support creates a professional atmosphere where doulas grow. We know that well-supported doulas provide higher-quality care to families. Birthways doulas receive ongoing support through:
Professional development. Including opportunities designed to further deepen skills and keep doulas up-to-date on current research
A community of doulas. Doulas are networked together so that they can share each other’s knowledge base
A professional community. Through the Birthways administrative team, Birthways doulas can access a variety of childbearing year professionals and resources, from therapists qualified to provide PPMD support to local playgroups.