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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!

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

By Hillary Melchiors Ph.D., MPH, LCCE, CD(DONA) 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 […]

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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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Did Your Client Birth Prematurely? Nine Tips to Help You Help Them!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE November is Prematurity Awareness Month. November 17 will be recognized around the globe as the fourth annual World Prematurity Day. More information on this day is available here. According to the March of Dimes, 15 million babies are born prematurely, (before 37 weeks) worldwide. Depending on […]

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There’s an App for That! – Creative Solutions for Running Your Doula Business: MileIQ

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Today I start a new occasional series called “There’s an App for That!” From time to time, I will share an app that helps us to run our birth and postpartum businesses and make our lives easier. Today I tackle tracking mileage on your phone using a […]

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Meet DONA International’s Newest Board Members & an Invitation for YOU!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Today is election day in the United States, where citizens go to the polls to vote on local and state level candidates and initiatives. This is a midterm election so there are no presidential elections this time. I thought it was an appropriate day to present to […]

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A Pregnant Belly Makes the Best Halloween Costume!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Halloween is observed in the United States and other places around the world today. Now that my children are young adults, we seem to have lost the Halloween spirit and all the rituals and fun associated with the holiday that they celebrated and that I remember doing […]

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How a Doula Helps Clients to Receive Respectful Care

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Research indicates that between one-quarter to one-third of birthing people describe their labor and birth experience as traumatic. Lived experiences or a traumatic previous birth experience may all contribute to how a person feels during and after their birth. How a person is treated and whether they […]

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Is Attending an Unassisted Birth within DONA International’s Scope of Practice?

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Last week’s Doula Me This! post asked birth doulas to consider what they would do if a contracted client shared that they were now planning an unassisted birth. Many doulas responded on social media and/or the blog post itself, sharing their thoughts, how they would handle […]

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Series: Doula Me This #5 – Clients Are Planning an Unassisted Birth

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE Today is the fifth 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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Expert Tips for a Smooth Recertification Process

By Uta Mattox, AdvCD(DONA), CD(DONA) Today’s post is the third and final post in a short series focusing on tips from the experts on birth and postpartum certification and recertification. Today, longtime doula Uta Mattox, former Director of Certification and current recertification reviewer, shares her professional tips and experience to help make the recertification process […]

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California Parents Speak Up About Doulas! Results from Listening to Mothers in California Survey

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, LCE 2018 Listening to Mothers in California survey results were released earlier this month and the information shared is immensely interesting. This is the first Listening to Mothers survey done on a state level and examines the desires, experiences, and outcomes of families who gave birth in California in […]

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Meet The DONA 2019 Board Candidates and Get Ready to Vote!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, LCE DONA International is the world’s premier doula organization and relies on the person power and skills of many, many volunteers to keep it running effectively. Our organization is led by an all volunteer board of directors who serve three-year terms and give many, many hundreds (thousands?) of […]

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Launch Your Doula Career by Becoming Involved in Your Community! It’s a Win-Win Situation!

By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, LCE Your birth or postpartum workshop has been completed and you are ready to dip your toe in your birth/postpartum community in order to make connections, find backups, locate clients and start to gain experience in this new venture. My doula colleagues in my community help me to […]

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