Saturday, January 7, 2017


We are sorry to announce that the UW doula program is currently on hold indefinitely.
If you are pregnant and looking for a doula, we suggest the following resources:
Open Arms Perinatal Services
PALS doulas
DONA International Doula database (find a doula in your zipcode that is DONA certified)

If you are a doula looking to volunteer, we suggest:
Open Arms Perinatal Services

Wishing everyone the best in the new year!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year, Renewed Program

 When we met with Gigi (Nurse Manager of the Maternity and Infant Center and Perinatal Services) to discuss the program and our positions as coordinators in August, we were made aware that UWMC volunteer services and the labor and delivery staff would like to see some changes in the structure of our program. Therefore, our program was temporarily suspended while we spent the last few months working out what we hope will be a mutually beneficial and pleasing structure. 

We are building upon the program's original purpose and mission; Much work has already been done for us by the original creators of the program and all the volunteers and doulas who came before. Much of the change is about increasing communication with our partners and supporters in the hospital. Practically, the new structure expects more regularly scheduled shifts for volunteers along with care teams- small groups of doulas who share being on-call for one particular client. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Time of Transition- New Coordinators

Hello and welcome to the UWMC Doula Care website and blog! It has been a few years since this page has been updated, and we want to assure you that this program is still in existence.

The UWMC Doula Care program is going through an exciting transition at this time with a change in coordinators. As we are excited to take over as coordinators, we are saddened to see the program coordinators of the last few years leave us to move on in their own journeys. We are humbled by their example and dedication to women and families and to making doula support available to everyone.

As we take over coordinating, we plan on continuing that dedication. There will be no changes to the core mission of UWMC Doula Care or it's general structure. We are planning some changes however, such as a revitalization of this website and of social media, more publicity and finding ways for our doulas to be more engaged with the program and with each other to build a community rather than a loose network of volunteers. We definitely would encourage feedback and suggestions! Email to:, or comment below.

With all that said, you might be wondering, who is this "we"? So here is a little about us individually: (For information about UWMC Doula Care check out the "Program Overview" page)

I have been a doula volunteering with UWMC for about a year. I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, in which I did an Honors thesis on the professionalization of doulas. I plan to go on to nursing and eventually to become a nurse-practitioner in midwifery and family practice. I enjoy spending time in nature, doing yoga and reading. I’m expecting my first little one this Nov/Dec.

I graduated in 2013 from SU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Currently I am in the accelerated nursing program at UW. I also plan on becoming a nurse practitioner for midwifery. I play roller derby and also enjoy swimming and cooking.

I moved from Southern California to Seattle in September of 2014. I began volunteering with UWMC's Doula Program soon after moving. I value the program deeply for its ability to support families from all walks of life while providing doulas of all experience levels with opportunities to learn and grow. By day, I work at Swedish Ballard Primary Care Clinic and teach Yoga at Vertical World Climbing Gym. I also enjoys running, camping, exploring, drinking deep cups of tea, and eating huge bowls of veggies.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A story from a UWMC Doula

When I arrived, mom was dilated to 5cm, coping well, resting between contractions, and using breathing exercises. Her contractions remained between 4 and 7 minutes apart for several hours, without any cervical change. Mom spent some time in the tub, and then she was started on a low dose of Pitocin. We decided to try to get mom up and moving around, and did one lap of the L&D floor, with mom pausing for contractions with support from dad and me. Mom vocalized during contractions, drawing a few doctors and nurses into the hall to see what was going on.
We returned to the room and used the birth ball. Pitocin was steadily increased, and mom’s contractions were closer together and stronger. Mom was having a challenging time coping with the pain by this point, and was using her first language as she contracted. I encouraged her to make guttural noises, rather than high-pitched noises, and also recommended that she relax her mouth and let her lips flap as she exhaled. She was able to relax her mouth and continued to use this technique through her contractions. Her husband told us that she was saying, “I can’t”, but we encouraged her that she was doing an amazing job, and coping well.
All of a sudden, mom appeared to be pushing. As she had been checked less than 30min before and was only at 5cm, we were surprised. The nurse began calling the attending and resident and I encouraged the mom to resist the urge to push by using shallow breathing techniques. As soon as the doctor arrived, mom gave one solid push, and baby A was born!
This was an exciting birth—it was slow to start but then went so fast!! It was interesting to support a mom with English as her second language. It helped me to realize how important my presence and touch is, not just verbal communication.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"This was a great experience for me. The nurse was very welcoming and inclusive, and already had a great rapport with the new parents. Mom was in early labor when I arrived, so we were able to chat quite a bit. She was doing well when I arrived, and was able to get a little rest. I helped her with breathing, and normalizing what she was experiencing. When the nurses had a shift change, I was very happy to be there to offer continuity for the parents, as this is right when labor was starting to heat up. After the doctor broke her water, the contractions became very intense, and although mom had strongly wanted a pain-med free birth, she started asking about an epidural. Nurse, dad and I all pitched in to encourage and support her, and baby was born about an hour after that - without pain meds! The parents were very happy and proud, and they had worked hard! I was so thrilled to be there with them. I also got to help with breastfeeding a bit, and it was the first time I felt knowledgeable enough and comfortable to do so. It was pretty much an ideal experience for me, as I know I provided a benefit to them and they were thankful. I wish I could have visited them the next day, but the snowstorm kept me at home. I talked to mom briefly on the phone, so we got closure that way."

Friday, December 7, 2012

"This was a complicated birth. I had to work through an interpreter. Some of the complications were OP, maternal fever, stalled labor, and meconium staining. Although the mother had an epidural, it was very well titrated and the nurses and doctors were very open to letting the mother labor on hands and knees and use a sqat bar for pushing. The baby was delivered from the squatting position and I was very thankful to the doctors and nurses for being so open to allowing her to use alternative positions ... It is often difficult to know how to support a mother with an epidural because at first glance it looks as if the medicine is totally assisting with the coping."