The "fourth trimester," the period following birth, is often the most challenging and overlooked period in the transition to parenthood. Many new families in our society lack the continuity of care they need following the birth of their baby.
The postpartum doula helps meet this need by educating, nurturing and empowering mothers and families toward confidence in their new roles. Doulas may provide assistance with breastfeeding, newborn and mother care, and housework. They also provide referrals to community resources as needed.
The Simkin Center has played an integral role in developing the postpartum doula movement in the Northwest. Participants in our first classes in 1995 founded the Northwest Association for Postpartum Support (NAPS), a professional organization providing peer support, continuing education and referrals. Since then, more than 560 women have completed our training. The Postpartum Doula Training meets NAPS’ training standards for certification. To contact NAPS, send them an email or call (206) 956-1955.
In February 2004, our postpartum doula training workshop received approval by DONA International. Our training was the first in the western U.S. to be approved. DONA approval allows someone who completes the course to begin the process of becoming a DONA International-certified postpartum doula.
The Simkin Center Postpartum Doula Training is a four-day course. The curriculum includes:
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide (Latest edition) by Penny Simkin, April Bolding, Ann Keppler and Janelle Durham
Maternity Leave: A New Mother’s Guide to the First Six Weeks Postpartum by Cheryl Zauderer
Two DONA-approved postpartum doula trainers (see Simkin Center faculty) lead each postpartum doula training.