Doula Studies
Birth Doula Course Description

Take some time to explore the courses you take for your Birth Doula Studies Online Program.

PVPS 261:  Module 1 - The Doula as a Holistic Birth Practitioner

A doula is a trusted birthing companion who provides information and physical, emotional, and often spiritual support to a woman before, during, and just after childbirth. As a doula, you draw upon your knowledge and experience to help provide the information necessary for your client to make informed choices throughout the birth process. This module is an introduction to the role of a doula. You learn more about yourself and how you can use this self-knowledge to support your clients. In this module, you also learn about the scope of practice of a doula, how you can best support a woman in birth within your scope of practice, and how to assist your clients during the stages of natural birth as a member of the maternity care team.

PVPS 262:  Module 2 – The Doula during Childbirth
Prerequisite:  PVSS 261 - Module 1

Module 2 of the Birth Doula Certificate program furthers your understanding of how the doula helps her clients, from providing support for maternal changes during pregnancy right through to the early postpartum period. A significant and intense part of this module is focused on the development of your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology related to childbirth and hospital procedures. This knowledge helps you to translate or interpret medical terminology and proposed procedures for your clients so they are more able to make informed decisions for themselves. You also learn about ways in which doulas provide balance on the maternity care team during childbirth and about ways to support the new family during the immediate postpartum period.

PVSS 263:  Module 3 – The Baby, the Business and You
Prerequisite:  PVSS 262 - Module 2

Module 3 of the Birth Doula Studies program furthers your understanding of how the doula supports her clients through the postpartum period. You will learn more about the newborn baby and how to support the new family. In addition, you learn how to move forward into your new role as a doula. We talk about challenges that you may face in your new professional life and how you – the caregiver – can give care to yourself. In this module, we also explore how to set up a successful doula business and how to use cost effective marketing to become known and respected within your community.

Practicum Descriptions

In addition to online Modules 1, 2 and 3, the following practicum needs to be completed in order to receive the Birth Doula Studies Continuing Education Certificate:

PVPS 264 - Practicum 1 (Volunteer Experience + Book Reports)
Practicum 1 is to assist students with networking in their community, enhancing their knowledge and assisting them with further community opportunities for learning.

Volunteer Experience
A minimum of 20 hours of volunteer experience is required within 6 months of program start date.  Resources and instructions will be posted online in the course.

Book Reports 1 & 2
Read and report on 2 books from the required reading list within 6 months of program start date.  Resources and instructions will be posted online in the course.

PVPS 265 – Practicum 2:  (A. Two Birth Attendance) OR (B. One Birth Attendance + Community Research)
Students may begin Practicum 2 at any time after the course commences and it will be due within one year from the program start date.  Practicum 2 is meant to provide the hands-on experience necessary for starting a career as a Doula.

A. Two Birth Attendance Only
The documentation from health care professionals and the birthing family can assist the student in determining their strengths, along with providing feedback on areas where skill building may be necessary.

Students will attend two births and receive two completed evaluations for each birth.  One must be from the birthing family and the second must be from a birth professional (e.g. Doctor, Nurse, Midwife, Mentor Doula).

The student will also write a birth summary on their involvement for each birth.


B. One Birth Attendance + Community Research
This Practicum option involves the attendance and documentation of one birth as well as an in-depth community research project on Lactation or Bereavement.  Both Lactation and Bereavement are specialized areas of birth and students are to seek out resources in their communities.

Lactation:  Students are required to interview a Lactation Consultant or Breastfeeding Counsellor.  They are to attend a Lactation workshop and to write a research paper on what they have learned, how breastfeeding is promoted in their community, how they can incorporate more breastfeeding knowledge to new families and whether there are community groups available such as La Leche League.

Bereavement:  Students are to interview a Credentialed Bereavement Doula Grief Counsellor or member of their Hospice Society (or a combination) in order to gain dimension into the stages of grief as it pertains to Pregnancy and Infant Loss.  They will be required to research what resources are available in their community in terms of their local hospital as well as a local funeral home.

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