The SCBP doula program
Doulas are trained childbirth attendants who provide women with continuous physical and emotional comfort and support throughout childbirth. Doula (pronounced “doola”) is a Greek word meaning “caregiver.” Whether it is a hand to hold, someone to lean on, or words of comfort during labour, women have been helping other women through childbirth for centuries. The SCBP has incorporated this age-old tradition into its services by offering pregnant women and their partners the assistance of a doula during labour.
A comprehensive review published by the Cochrane Library, one of the best sources of evidence-based healthcare in the world, concluded that having a doula present at the birth increases your odds of a normal, satisfying childbirth experience.
At South, we firmly believe every woman deserves to have the support of a doula during her labour and birth. We have seen - up close and personal - the value of a doula and the amazing support she offers both to the woman in labour and her partner.
This year our doulas will also be supporting women attending BCWH “New Beginnings Clinic”. This clinic is where women without health insurance can receive care free of charge. It is our South doulas that will be providing support for women attending this clinic, women who are often new immigrants or refugees, far from home with no support networks in place. They will greatly benefit from doula support, not to mention the 23 language groups our doulas speak, including English!
If you decide that you want a doula involved in your care, you will fill out a form indicating your preferences and our doula coordinator, Jalana, will match you with a doula best suited to meet your needs.
The SCBP doulas also support women attending BC Women’s Hospitals “New Beginnings Clinic”, where low-income women without health insurance can receive care free of charge.
The running of our doula program is partially funded by a generous grant from BC Women’s Hospital.
SCBP doula training
SCBP doulas have attended DONA (Doulas of North America) approved birth training taught by our doula program coordinator, Jalana Grant. DONA is recognized internationally as the oldest and largest doula association whose founders are responsible for the first doula studies. Information about doulas and the results of the studies can be found in the DONA Birth Doula Position Paper. Information about locating DONA Approved Birth Doula Training is available on the DONA website.
The SCBP doula coordinator
Jalana has been working with childbearing families as a doula since 1983. Certified as a doula and DONA-approved doula trainer, she traveled nationally and internationally from 2000-2011 as the Western Canada Director on DONAs International Board of Directors. This has included enthusiastic participation in DONAs annual meetings and production of materials.
Jalana has been instrumental in promoting and raising awareness of doulas contribution to healthy birth and of DONAs value and role in doula care in BC and Western Canada. As the former BC Doula Services Association (DsA) President and Referral Coordinator, Jalana supported and nurtured the groups membership growth to over 200 doulas.
Jalana is a certified International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and Lamaze International Childbirth Educator. She has taught prenatal classes in the Vancouver area since 1989, and has presented to health professionals and others involved with childbearing families.