SACRED DOULA TRAINING
March 6-12, 2017
Breitenbush Hot Springs – Detroit, OR
Throughout history, women have supported other women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. For many people today, birth can be a lonely and frightening experience, attended by strangers. The modern remedy for this tragic situation is the ‘doula’ – a knowledgeable, experienced companion who is trained to provide emotional and physical support, encouragement and wisdom for pregnant people and their families.
In this DONA-approved training, the art of birth support and the sacredness of birth will be shared and celebrated. Whether you are planning to work professionally as a doula, or want some understanding and skills to support a friend or relative in labor, or simply want to connect with the power, magic and mystery of the birth process, this workshop will be an extraordinary journey exploring the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of humanity, womanhood, pregnancy, and birth.
The Sacred Doula training was like nothing I had ever experienced and was, for me, the ideal training to prepare me to be the type of doula that I want to be in the world.
The training will combine lecture-based learning with experiential learning, movement, writing, dialog, art, meditation, ceremony, and ritual. Time will be spent both in the classroom and in the belly of Mother Nature surrounding Breitenbush. The training will be structured so that each day there is plenty of time for soaking, hiking, and enjoying the beauty of the retreat center. An optional movie-night for viewing birth videos will also be offered.
This training has been approved to meet two steps toward certification by DONA (DONA International, the world’s premier doula organization).
What is Breitenbush?
In a word: Divine. Breitenbush is a magical, sacred place that embraces many of the things I treasure: the majesty of the natural world, the healing powers of mineral-laden hot springs, the vital need to produce and consume only organic food, and community-based sustainable living. For more information about the fabulous Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat & Conference Center, click here.
What is a Doula?
Doula (doo’-luh) is a Greek word meaning ‘servant’. It was adopted by the labor support profession, and today the word is used to refer to a trained person (usually a woman) who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to pregnant people and their families before, during and after childbirth.
A birth doula assists the pregnant person and family during pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum. The doula stays with the laboring person throughout the entire birth process, providing emotional, physical, and informational support. S/he helps clients get the information they need to make informed decisions.
The birth doula recognizes childbirth as a normal, physiological process as well as a transformative life experience. The primary purpose of a doula is to nurture and protect a one’s memory of their birth experience.
Doulas are a recognized professional group and may be certified by various doula organizations, but are not currently a licensed or regulated profession at the State level.
What happens in a doula workshop?
Traditional doula training includes two components:
1. Basic information about pregnancy and birth. Topics include:
- anatomy and physiology of female reproduction
- medical terminology as it relates to maternity care
- fetal development
- prenatal care
- pain management techniques
- the emotions of pregnancy
- normal labor, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding
- normal procedures used in labor and birth
- labor and birth variations and complications.
2. The role of the doula and how to support a pregnant person and their family during pregnancy, labor and birth, and immediate postpartum. Topics include:
- the significance of birth in people’s lives
- the doula’s scope of practice, professional ethics, and standards of practice
- clarifying values and beliefs about birth
- communication skills
- interviewing, paperwork, and how to get hired
- the doula’s role as an advocate, and supporting decision-making
- politics in the birth world, birth community, hospital, and birth space
- prenatal visits with clients and how to conduct them
- providing emotional support, including culturally-sensitive support
- comfort strategies for pregnancy, labor and birth
- newborn care
- immediate postpartum support
- breastfeeding support
- hearing your client’s birth story
- creating a doula business and presence
The Sacred Doula Training provides the addition of:
- personal exploration
and infuses the sacredness of babies, birth, and nature into every topic.
“The course I took was life altering. I return to the teachings and handouts frequently, even though it has been a few years ago. I feel like the experience was vital to my development as a doula and it was a fantastic foundation for my career.”
About Your Instructors
Carrie Kenner, BA, CBE, CD(DONA), CDT(DONA), has been helping people have babies for over 30 years. As an 18-year-old first-time mother in 1979, she desired a homebirth and searched for over three months to find midwives to attend her at home. Her search for midwifery care fueled her passion for supporting people in their right to have the births they desire, to access for information and support for normal birth, and in rediscovering individual power through birth. She began supporting her friends and sister in birth in 1981 and teaching childbirth education in 1982.
In 2001, Carrie started her own business as a childbirth educator and birth doula. Since then, she has attended over 300 births, worked with over 800 families as an educator, birth doula, pre-conception counselor, and postpartum support provider, and trained and mentored over 1,000 doulas. She is a DONA-approved Birth Doula Trainer and a certified Birthing From Within mentor. She is a Senior Instructor at the Simkin Center at Bastyr University as a doula and childbirth educator trainer. Carrie owns and operates Big Belly Services in Seattle, WA, providing doula trainings and continuing education. Carrie is also passionate about sustainable food production and is an urban farmer in Seattle. She has three sons and eight grandchildren.
Heather Meyer holds a world-wide vision of health equity and gentle supported birthing for all families. Her innate trust in a mother’s strength and individual family’s birth journey was seeded at her sister’s home birth when she was 2 1/2, and acts as a foundation for her practice. In 2004 she began supporting births, and in 2011 completed her Birth and Postpartum Doula Certification at the Australian Doula College in Sydney. Heather is a highly skilled and experienced doula, having supported hundreds of families from a multitude of backgrounds both in and out of the hospital. Her openness and calming presence combined with professionalism and broad skill set, make her a heartening presence in the birth room. In 2013, she helped to establish a hospital-based doula program at the Providence Maternal Care Clinic in Oregon, where she continues to practice as an integral member in a fully integrated team model of care. Heather is also a talented massage therapist specializing in pregnancy, a group facilitator, Artist and has extensive experience working with children with intellectual disabilities.