What is a Doula?

The word doula comes from a Greek word meaning “woman helper.”  Today, a doula is a birth companion, trained to give support to women and families during labor and birth. 

All of our doulas are professionally trained; many through the international organization DONA International - Doulas of North America International, to Labor (formerly ALACE), or CAPPA - Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Assosication. Whether a pregnant woman arrives at the hospital alone or with family and friends, the doula can help her to have a more comfortable and positive birthing experience. We are pleased to be able to offer this important service to women and families, free of charge.

Take a look at our Doula Handout!

How do I get a doula?

Birth Partners UNC volunteer doulas are available to anyone who would like to have one at their birth. Although we cannot guarantee that a volunteer Doula will always be available, we make every effort to provide you with this service.

The services of a Doula can be requested upon arrival to UNC Women's Hospital, make sure to tell the nurses taking care of you that would like to have a UNC Volunteer Doula (specify if you need her to be bilingual in Spanish) and they will call the Doula on-call for you. If you would like more information about our program please contact us with your questions. If you have special circumstances and would like to request a doula prior to your due date, please be in touch with us at the email below.

Please contact us at: doula@unch.unc.edu.

For more general information about Doulas you may visit: www.dona.org

  Want more information about our program? Follow us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/UNCDoula/ and sign up for our e-mail newsletter by clicking https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/birthpartnersnews

Our Mission

The doulas of the Birth Partners UNC Volunteer Doula Service Program are committed to helping every laboring woman have a satisfying birth experience at N.C. Women's Hospital.  We believe that a doula's caring support helps a woman have a more positive birth experience, regardless of the type of labor and birth she has.  In addition, it is our goal to foster partner participation (when applicable) and to help establish breastfeeding for those women who choose to breastfeed.  We are particularly proud to be able to offer these services to women who would otherwise be unable to afford doula care.  We believe that a positive birth combined with partner participation and breastfeeding creates a strong foundation for greater confidence in parenting, and a good start for any new family.

Birth Partner UNC Volunteer Doulas


Interested in becoming a Birth Partner UNC Volunteer Doula?

Are you a trained and experienced doula? Thank you for considering serving as a volunteer doula. We would love to hear from you.  Please email us at doula@unchealth.unc.edu for more information! 

Are you considering doula training? You will find information about the role and work of a doula at dona.org. We plan to offer our next doula training in April/May of 2017. This training is intended for individuals who think they might like to volunteer in our program. There are no pre-requisites to the training and it is offered over one weekend, typically a Friday evening and all day Saturday. 

Next Training Date: January application closed. Next training in late Spring.

Doula Application: Updated application sent by e-mail mid-spring. E-mail doula@unchealth.unc.edu to join the interest list.



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