In 2010, the hospital partnered with Discover Birth Childbirth Education and Doula Services and launched the Hospital Birth Doula Program, the first formal, non-volunteer based doula program at an Ontario hospital. Under this program, expectant mothers can request a doula to be present during their labour and delivery. Please note that doula services are not covered by provincial health insurance in Ontario.
What are Doulas?
Doulas draw on their knowledge and experience to provide emotional support and physical comfort, and help facilitate communication with caregivers so that patients have all the information they need to have the most satisfying birth experience. Doulas can provide reassurance and perspective to the mom and her partner, make suggestions for labour progress and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. All Discover Birth Doulas are DONA International trained (the largest certifying organization in the world) and have also received additional training to work in the Hospital Birth Doula Program.
What happens after I register with the Hospital Birth Doula Program?
Once you have registered as part of the program, a doula will meet with you to understand your specific birth plan so she can provide the best possible support during labour and delivery.
Discover Birth Doulas work on a 24 hour on-call schedule and there are doulas assigned for every day of the month. Once you are booked into our program, you will be provided with the schedule so you know who to call 24/7 if you have worries or questions, or for when you are in labour and ready for the doula to come and meet you.
Will the Hospital Birth Doula program affect any of the other services I receive at SHN?
No. Doulas are a non-medical support service and work with the health care team, including doctors, nurses and midwives, to ensure the most satisfying birth experience for the mother and her partner.
How do I register for the Hospital Birth Doula program?
You can register using the Birth Doula Program online form.