What is a Doula?
The word doula is an ancient Greek term that translates to “caregiver.” A doula provides emotional support, pain management and relaxation techniques, and information to her clients as needed.
Birth – A Birth Doula will provide all of the above throughout a client””s labor and delivery, as well as the immediate postpartum period (about two hours after the baby has been born). The doula meets with clients prenatally to talk about birthing preferences, the creation of a birth plan, and to practice different positions and relaxation techniques for labor. Additionally, a birth doula provides a postpartum visit to review the client’s birth experience and refer them to any resources they may need. Birth doulas are on call for their clients for three weeks.
Abortion- An Abortion Doula will provide all of the above to clients who are choosing to terminate the pregnancy. The doula will stay with the client throughout her procedure, as well as part of the recovery period, and will remain in touch with the client as she desires thereafter.
About The Doula Project:
The Doula Project is a pro-choice New York City-based organization that was started in 2007 to provide free services to lower-income individuals across the spectrum of pregnancy. It was founded by pro-choice doulas and reproductive justice activists, two of whom currently serve as the Project Co-Coordinators. The Project is a volunteer led and run organization that trains and manages its own doula base. We currently have 3 programs that serve the greater NYC area:
1) To provide doula care to people facing abortion, miscarriage, and stillbirth (in partnership with a Manhattan Public Hospital and Planned Parenthood Brooklyn). You do not have to be a birth doula to serve as an abortion doula. We train our own volunteers on this component of care.
2) To provide doula care to people choosing adoption (in partnership with Spence Chapin Adoption Agency). Please be a trained birth doula to apply. We do not require a lot of experience, only a formal training with an established doula certifying program.
3) To provide doula care on a case by case basis to lower-income individuals who are not affiliated with either of our partner organizations. Please be a trained birth doula to apply. We do not require a lot of experience, only a formal training with an established doula certifying program.
We are recruiting doulas for all components of our mission, though priority is given to those who are interested in being both Birth and Abortion Doulas. While you are not required to serve as a doula for all components, you are expected to support the mission and values of the entire project and the work each individual doula engages in. You are also expected to attend all components of our training. We encourage you to apply for all components of our work!
We are looking for people interested in training as abortion doulas to work with clients in NYC clinics and hospitals. Doulas will be present and provide emotional support to clients before, during and after abortions. We are looking for people who can work at least 2 weekdays a month as well as complete 40 hours of training, provided by The Doula Project, in the summer of 2011. Trained birth doulas are particularly encouraged to apply, though we are excited to bring on reproductive health and justice activists who have no prior doula training.
- Report to the assigned hospital/clinic each workday
- Meet with clients in the clinic/hospital before abortion and answer any questions/concerns, help fill out paperwork, and provide pre-abortion counseling
- Provide client with emotional support during abortion (includes 1st and 2nd trimester and laminaria placements). Please note: This means you will be expected to be in the operating room with the client as needed.
- Provide clients with your number to call you anytime to talk after abortion.
- Meet with clients anytime if desired after abortion
- Commit to two 5- 8-hour weekdays per month (Monday – Friday 9-5PM)
- Commit to meeting with the client outside of clinic setting after abortion, if desired
- Provide personal number to client as desired
- Attend monthly abortion doula meetings
- Attend 40 hours of training in the summer of 2011 (includes 25 hours classroom over the course of one week/15hours clinic over the course of three to four weekdays)
- At least one-year commitment to project
- When working in hospital/clinic settings, become hospital/clinic volunteer and go through volunteer training
Adoption and Birth Doulas:
We are looking for previously trained birth doulas to work with birth moms who may be choosing adoption and with clients who cannot otherwise afford doula care. We partner with Spence-Chapin to provide doula support to their clients and support low-income clients who sign up through our website, free of charge. You do not have to have a lot of experience as a doula and will work as part of a two-person doula team. A back-up doula will always be provided for every birth.
- Coordinate with your partner doula to ensure that at least one of you will be available at all times during your five-week on-call period.
- Meet with clients, for a minimum of two prenatal visits as desired by the client and as time allows
- Assist client in the creation of a birth plan
- Answer questions and provide resources per client””s request
- Remain in constant contact with client before and during the on-call period, and after, as client desires
- Provide continuous support at the time of the client””s labor and delivery
- Meet with clients for a minimum of one postpartum visit after the birth, as the client desires
- Participate in adoption training with Spence-Chapin (part of larger training we provide)
- Commit to one (1) birth every 6 weeks
- Commit to a minimum of two prenatal visits and two postpartum visits
- Commit to the five-week on-call period with your partner doula. At least one of you must be available at all times during the on-call period.
- Provide personal cell phone or pager number to clients
- At least one-year commitment to the project
- Adhere to Doula Project and Spence-Chapin policies and protocols.
Doula training will take place the weekend of June 18th and 19th (9am-5pm). In order to offset some of the cost of the training workshops, we will be asking each applicant accepted to the Doula Project to pay $25 on the first day of training. We recognize that this may be difficult for some of us; if this is the case for you, please just drop us a line. We will waive the workshop fee, no questions asked.
How to apply:
People with experience in doula work, reproductive health, rights and justice work, abortion counseling or health services are encouraged to apply. People under 30, people of color, queer and trans people and Spanish speakers are strongly desired. People with flexible/free weekdays are ideal. While we are willing to negotiate for the right person, priority will be given to those who can commit to at least two weekdays a month.
Abortion doulas and births doulas who take births through our website will serve in an unpaid volunteer capacity. Adoption doulas will receive small stipends through the adoption agency. We realize this is a big time commitment and will do everything possible to take care of our doulas and work within your schedules.*
You can get our application at www.doulaproject.org.
If you are interested in working with us, we are accepting applications now through April 25th. Please send completed applications at firstname.lastname@example.org