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We know doulas. As a leader in the doula field for over 25 years, DONA International is your trusted authority for evidence-based information and resources for the doula profession.

From families considering hiring a doula to the thousands of doulas worldwide who support them, so many people want to learn more about doulas. Here on the blog, we provide evidence-based information specifically for professional doulas and the families we serve. Doulas play a unique role in the lives of the families we support and need specialized resources to grow and thrive as professionals. Stay up to date and informed with the organization that put doulas on the map!

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You Know You Should Be a Doula If…

DONA International offers opportunities to become a doula by attending one of the many doula workshops offered around the world by a DONA-Approved Trainer. A doula workshop is the first step on the path to becoming a certified birth or postpartum doula. You will receive world-class training and become a member of the largest and most recognized and respected doula organization in the world.

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DONA Certified Doulas Earn Higher Fees and Attract More Clients: A Doula Fee and Referral Comparison from DoulaMatch.net

May is International Doula Month, and 2019 is the 21st year that DONA International, perinatal organizations and consumers around the globe all take time during the month of May to recognize the contributions that birth and postpartum doulas make to support families during the childbearing year. DONA International is an outstanding doula organization, maintaining a […]

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Happy Nurses’ Week! Doulas Love Our Collaboration with You!

May 6th through 12th is National Nurses Week in the USA. As birth doulas know and research shows, nurses can make or break a client experience during their client’s labor and birth. While doulas and nurses have clear and distinct roles when there is a collaboration between them, everyone, especially the family benefits.

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Meet Native American Midwife Nicolle Gonzales, Founder of Changing Woman Initiative and Celebrate Day of the Midwife

Long before birth moved into the hospital, in communities all across the globe, there have been women serving women in the role of midwife, traditional birth attendant and crone to care for people through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. The role of the midwife once celebrated and deeply respected, declined as birth moved into […]

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Six Reasons Why You May Want a Postpartum Doula after Your Cesarean Birth

Cesarean Awareness Month April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM) and this month, many perinatal organizations are focusing on the impact cesarean birth has on parents and babies. In the USA, the current cesarean rate is just under 32%. While this rate has been slowly declining, many professionals support the belief that nearly half of all […]

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Meet Katherine Shea Barrett – The New Executive Director of March for Moms

Introduction to March for Moms March for Moms (MfM) is gearing up for their third annual event on the National Mall in Washington DC, to rally and raise awareness of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States in the childbearing year. On Saturday, May 11th, from 1-3 PM, perinatal organizations including DONA International will […]

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Five Reasons You May Want a Birth Doula During Your Cesarean Birth

Cesarean Awareness Month April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM) and this month, many perinatal organizations are focusing on the impact cesarean birth has on parents and babies. In the USA, the current cesarean rate is just under 32%. While this rate has been slowly declining, many professionals support the belief that nearly half of all […]

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Take Action for Black Maternal Health Week: Six Things You Can Do Now

By Sharon Muza, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Introduction to Black Maternal Health Week April is Minority Health Month in the United States. Minority Health Month is a “month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities.” Within Minority Health Week, April 11th through 17th is the second […]

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Meet DONA International Doulas Across the Globe during World Doula Week

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, CLE March 22nd-28th is World Doula Week, originally designated in 2011 as “Doula Day” by Ruti Karni Horowitz. Since then, the celebration has expanded to a full week and is recognized by doula organizations all around the world. As you recognize World Doula Week, now is the time to […]

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Research Update: ACOG Advises No Longer Laboring Down and Support of Family-Centered Cesareans

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, LCE Introduction Just about two years ago, the DONA Doula Chronicles blog shared about the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee Opinion released in 2017 regarding recommendations to reduce interventions and improve birth outcomes. This opinion was endorsed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) […]

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Series: Doula Me This #6 – I Have No Backup Doula!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Today is the sixth post in the occasional series, “Doula Me This!” Each post in the series provides a common scenario that a birth or postpartum (or both) doula may face. The “correct” answer (if there is one) requires some synthesis of the situation and at times […]

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Book Review: The Heart of the Doula: Essentials for Practice and Life

Amy Gilliland, Ph.D., Adv/BDT(DONA), CSE (AASECT) believes that doulas have the potential to change the world through connection and caring for another person, and this book is one way that she seeks to help doulas do exactly that. Dr. Gilliland has conducted qualitative research with more than 60 doulas since 2002, and her new book, […]

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The Duchess and the Doula

By Ann Grauer, AdvCD/BDT(DONA), AdvPCD/PDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, IBCLC Meghan Markle hired a doula for her upcoming birth (and, hopefully, postpartum). We are delighted that she is making DOULA the word heard round the world. The Duchess is just the latest expectant royal to set the pace for other birthing families around the globe. Princess Diana […]

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WE’RE LIVE! Introducing DONA International’s New Online Data Collection System

By Sarah Hodin, MPH, CD(DONA), LCCE Introducing DONA International online data collection forms As the largest doula training, certification, and membership organization in the world, DONA International is uniquely positioned to contribute knowledge about doulas and their impact on birthing families; and I would argue that it is our responsibility to do so. We humbly […]

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Five Ways Doulas Help Their Laboring Clients Increase Oxytocin – The Love Hormone

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Doulas know the importance of oxytocin in labor. Oxytocin is often called the “love hormone” but in labor and during feeding, it is also the “squeeze hormone” helping the uterus to contract in order to change the cervix and birth a baby, and pushes milk to […]

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Parting Gift to Your Clients? Yay or Nay?

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Many doulas have a practice of gifting their clients something as they end their time together. Others don’t do this at all. Over the years as a practicing doula, I have oscillated from providing a little parting gift for my clients to not gifting anything at […]

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What Is Natural Birth Anyway?

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE It has become clear to me in the past few years that there has been a shift in the meaning of some birth terminology that consumers use to talk about their births. Personally, I cannot pinpoint when the shift happened, but from my doula practice, my […]

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The Doula and the Thank You Note

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE I recently read a great article in The New York Times: “You Should Actually Send That Thank You Note You’ve Been Meaning to Write” and immediately thought about how this information is relevant to doulas and can help a doula grow their business. When I was growing […]

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Five Things You Can Be Doing Now for Business Success in 2019

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE The end of the year and the start of a fresh one is a great time to assess what has worked for your business and what services and products need to be tweaked, changed or discontinued for 2019. Here are some suggestions about things to think about as […]

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Great News! Preventing Maternal Deaths Act Signed into Law!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE In the United States, there is some very good news with lots of reasons to celebrate as 2018 comes to a close. After an incredible effort by many maternal-infant health organizations in the USA, including tireless lobbying by organizations and individuals, H.R. 1318 Preventing Maternal Deaths […]

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Seven Things I Learned While Serving as President of DONA International 2018

By Ana Paula Markel, CD/BDT(DONA), ICCE, IAT As the year comes to an end and my term as DONA International President comes to a close, I find myself reflecting, as one normally does this time of the year. I am reflecting on all that has been accomplished, and my goals, hopes, and dreams for our […]

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Lights, Camera, Action – Doulas Doulaing!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Where have I been the past two years? Under a rock? How did I just discover Romper’s The Doula Diaries video series? Somehow, these short (typically less than ten minutes) vignettes profiling a doula as they serve a client family have not come across my radar before. […]

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There’s an App for That! – Creative Solutions for Running Your Doula Business: Full Term Contraction Timer

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE It is time for another post in the occasional series called “There’s an App for That!” This series allows me to share an app that helps us run our birth and postpartum businesses and make our lives easier. Today I tackle timing contractions on your phone using […]

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The Sweet Relief of Being Off Call

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE I have been a birth doula for 15 years. Like many of you, I jumped right in after training and soon found myself fairly busy. At my prime, I would regularly attend as many as 45 plus births a year for my own clients and another […]

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DONA International Certifies Their 13,000th Doula!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE There are many reasons that I am proud to be a DONA certified doula. DONA’s history, the vision of the five founders, our organization’s mission and vision, and the longevity and adaptability of the organization are just a few of the many reasons that I am […]

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