Depending on where you do your training, you’ll do your course with either Dr. Barbara Hanrahan, Irene Bourquin, Colleen Pedersen or Elmarie Peters, who are all experienced Midwives.

Your training will take place over a period of 6 months, during which time you will put together a portfolio of your experiences. This portfolio is assessed at the end of your course in addition to a 3 hour written exam.

The course will cover these and other topics:

  • Philosophy of Birth and Understanding Labour
  • Supporting Women in Labour: Labour etiquette
  • Being part of the labour team
  • Pregnancy and Labour Warning Signs
  • Natural pain relief in labour
  • Relaxation techniques for labour
  • Tools for labour: Acupressure, Aromatherapy and more
  • Compassionate use of medicated pain relief
  • Coping with unexpected outcomes
  • Breastfeeding
  • Dealing with loss
  • Post-partum depression
  • Information on setting up your Birth Companion Practice

There is also a portion of practical experience you will need to acquire in between the lectures on theory. You will be required to attend a number of births, first as an observer and then as a participant. These births will take place in a variety of settings in order for you to gain this experience before you go off on your own. You may also get to shadow an experienced Doula in order to gain confidence in your abilities (depending on what area you are doing your training in).

Being a mother and training as a doula.

When a woman has experienced the vulnerability of pregnancy, birth and early mothering she has an innate wisdom that comes with life experience.

We have found young women who have not had this experience are sometimes quite thrown during the supervised clinical practical in public maternity facilities. It is not our wish to expose women who have not had a baby to some of the very harsh realities in childbirth – which can have a very negative influence on their own pregnancy and birth experience in the future.

As to exclusivity and alienating women who can’t carry their own baby – woman who have had some life experience and have a history of loss, infertility etc. can always contact the trainer explaining their position – we will try to “recognize prior learning” as an entry requirement. We have never excluded women who have a calling for this, despite medical difficulties.

The doula model is one that was proven to be the most appropriate in multi centered global trials. Throughout the doula training, we apply evidence based teaching. This training was based on research findings and started in 2002.

For information regarding the training schedule, please see: https://www.wombs.org.za/doula-training/doula-training-schedule/

For the latest information :

Bohren MA, Berger BO, Munthe‐Kaas H, Tunçalp Ö. Perceptions and experiences of labour companionship: a qualitative evidence synthesis.  https://www.cochrane.org/CD012449/EPOC_perceptions-and-experiences-labour-companionship. Continuous support for women during childbirth.

Cochrane Systematic Review – Intervention Version published: 06 July 2017 see what’s new. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6

Against odds we have nurtured the growth and development of the professional doula.