I am contacting you about fully recognizing Labour and Birth Doulas as a therapeutic and provincially covered profession across Canada.
The World Health Organization recently reported that the support of Doulas through Labour and Birth is best practice and that Doulas should become covered by our government.
Specific to that report dated March 23, 2016:
“All hospitals should implement programmes that offer continuous support to women during labour. The presence of a companion of the woman’s own choice should be permitted and encouraged. An alternative to this may be to integrate “doulas” in maternity wards for the provision of continuous support to women during labour. Doulas are lay women who have received special training to provide non-medical support to women and families during labour, childbirth and the postpartum period (7, 9). Policy-makers and administrators should recognize that the best outcomes are achieved when continuous labour support is provided by non-staff providers, especially doulas. This is particularly important where policy-makers wish to reduce high caesarean rates in their hospitals or country.
The costs of doula services, where available, are usually passed on to the mother’s family. These costs could be a barrier to the provision of continuous support. Considering all the advantages and possible lower costs to the health system associated with the presence of a doula (less likelihood of cesareans sections and analgesia use), covering the cost of doula services should be considered by policy-makers. Programmes for training and accreditation of doulas should be available in all regions of the country. Courses and programmes can be offered by public hospitals and primary health services for training community doulas.”
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As the Director and Program Coordinator for one of Canada’s Doula certification programs I see this as a great opportunity to work together. I would like to speak to someone about how we can implement Doula training and programs into current birth practice across the country.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Mrs. Shaunacy King, BD, CBE
Director & Program Coordinator
Doula Training Canada