Know of a volunteer doula program?

As part of my new and expanded site, the page about becoming a doula (still in progress!) has a list of volunteer doula programs at the bottom. Here is my list so far is after the jump.

Do you know of other programs I should feature here at radical doula? If so leave them in comments or send them to me via email. International programs welcome.

Family Health and Birth Center in Washington DC: This birth center has a volunteer doula program associated with it. The website doesn’t have information, but you can email me to get contact information.

Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support (PALS): Their website seems to be down, but this was the organization I trained with, and they have an on-call volunteer doula system for two Philly hospitals.

UNC BirthPartners: A hospital based volunteer doula program in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Birth Attendants: A doula program based in Olympia Washington that provides support to incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women.

Operation Special Delivery: “Provides trained volunteer doulas for pregnant women whose husbands or partners have been severely injured or who have lost their lives due to the current war on terror, or who will be deployed at the time that they are due to give birth.”

The Doula Project: An NYC-based organization that provides compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to women and people across the spectrum of pregnancy. The Doula Project works to create a society in which all pregnant women and people have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancies and the ability to make healthy decisions for themselves, whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion.

YWCA Greensboro Doula Program: The YWCA’s Doula Program is for adult females interested in becoming a certified labor coach.  As a part of the certification process, doula trainees provide emotional support and comfort during childbirth, help with breastfeeding plus assistance with child-mother bonding to teen moms in TPMP.  Call the TPMP office at 273-3461 ext. 117 for additional information.

Vancouver Youth Pregnancy & Parenting Program: The Youth Pregnancy & Parenting Program (YPPP) provides young mothers (up to age 22) complete prenatal and postnatal care. Volunteer Doulas, are a component of the overall program. They attend group sessions with the YPPP participants. Doulas must be “on Call” 24/7 until the birth of the participant’s child. Ensure attendance throughout labour, delivery and the immediate postpartum.

Prison Birth Project: Based in Western Massachusetts, the Prison Birth Project is an organization focused on reproductive justice, working to provide education, support and resources about pregnancy birth and mothering to incarcerated women. Note: The organizers want to specify they are especially looking for experienced birth doulas for this project, but folks with less experience can provide other types of support to the project. You can contact them here.

Do you know of other programs I should feature here at radical doula? If so leave them in comments or send them to me via email. International programs welcome.


16 thoughts on “Know of a volunteer doula program?

  1. Beth October 30, 2009 / 10:04 pm

    PDX Doulas. I put the link in the website field. The website is out-of-date: we are no longer a funded organization. We work as volunteers at Oregon Health Sciences University’s hospital, doing 1 24-hour shift or 2 12-hour shifts a month, right now on weekends only (although we’re hoping to expand). The nurses decide when to call us based on some vague criteria — do they want a natural birth? Are they unaccompanied? — and we go!

    I’m just getting started with them, but as a new doula, I’m eager to be doing community-oriented work, and to get some mentorship from the more experienced doulas in the program.

    Anyway, that’s one for your list.

  2. Amy C November 1, 2009 / 1:00 am

    I am part of the Chicago Volunteer Doulas. We are about 40 doulas strong and currently work with low-income moms at two of the city’s hospitals and are in the process of connecting with midwives or other staff at two more.

    Many of the doulas in the group are more newly trained and looking for certification births, and many of us also have been doing the work for a while and are committed to volunteering for the long run.

    We provide both on-call services for women who may not have considered a doula before birth, as well as more traditional match-ups with mamas where we establish a longer term relationship including prenatals and postpartum follow up.

  3. H.C. November 1, 2009 / 2:03 am

    Bay State Hospital in Springfield, MA has a volunteer/training doula program! Check it out.

  4. Sari November 2, 2009 / 1:18 am

    Yayasan Bumi Sehat is a by-donation clinic located right outside of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia that provides holistic midwifery services to those in need. Suharto’s (dictator in Indonesia from 60s-90s) brutal family planning laws under the New Order helped to create a birthing culture in Indonesia that leaves much to be desired (c-section rates are ~80%, almost all contraceptives prescribed are controlled by doctors, such as IUDs, universal AIDS precautions are not followed, etc.) Additionally, hospital costs are out of reach for many women, so they cannot even access that care. All of this contributes to why hemorrhaging after childbirth is the leading cause of death for women in Bali.

    YBS was started by a Filipino-American midwife, Robin Lim, over fifteen years ago. They have volunteers and interns from all over the world, and are truly a worthy organization. I think that they want volunteers to speak basic Indonesian, but its a pretty simple language to learn (it took me about two months to get to a conversational level, and about a year to feel completely comfortable). I can’t say enough good things about Robin and YBS.

    Their website is:

    A fundraising website, to help them build a new clinic:

  5. Jasmine Marsh November 4, 2009 / 3:52 pm

    The Volunteer Doula Program is part of the Single Parents Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They offer Prenatal Education and Support, the Volunteer Doula Program (free Doula training & by donation Doula services), Support to New Moms and Infants, Programs for Parents, Wellness (including Fitness, Infant Massage, Parent Massage), etc. They also help families connect with other resources in the city.

    They can be reached at:

    Telephone: (902) 479-3031
    Fax: (902) 477-2257

  6. Melissa November 20, 2009 / 2:26 am

    Doulas care in Ann Arbor Michigan provides volunteer doula services to women with limited resources several counties in southeast Michigan.

  7. Rosie November 23, 2009 / 5:02 pm

    Hearts & Hands is the name of the UCSD San Diego Volunteer Doula Program. that Joy already shared with you. It was one of the first established, very well run! Good training provided. Mentoring provided. Doulas are on-call 24/7, providing support to teens, incarerated, general public.

  8. Allie January 17, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    Does anybody know of more international opportunities? For doula work or midwifery assitants? Thanks!

  9. whatsername March 11, 2010 / 4:28 pm

    Miriam, thank you so much for compiling these resources. I’m compiling these sorts of things for a prison abolition group I’m interning for. 🙂

  10. Dustie May 24, 2010 / 5:49 pm

    LovingBirth Doula Services serving Southeast Tennessee provides nurturing doula care to all expectant mothers. Whether they can pay or not. All women deserve the wonderful support of a doula. Who am I to let money stand in the way of that?

  11. Alisa Blanchard August 9, 2010 / 11:48 am

    Berkshire Community Doula Project based out of Pittsfield MA. We are a new organization just developing this network of doula’s in Berkshire County. We do not have a website yet but the website listed will be hosting the BCDP information soon.

    For more information please contact me at berkcommdoulas @

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