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Doula Volunteer Program

Find out how to become a doula volunteer with UC San Diego's Volunteer Hearts & Hands Program.

Doulas are trained volunteers who assist at childbirth. UC San Diego Health's Hearts & Hands Volunteer Doula Program wants to offer a doula to every woman who gives birth at the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.

Hearts & Hands is looking for quite a few doulas. ¿Hablas Español? If so, we especially need you.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Have emotional and physical strength; birth can be a long, difficult process.
  • Complete the doula training.
  • Take a TB skin test.
  • Provide proof of immunizations.
  • Attend a volunteer orientation and safety training.

What does a doula do?

A doula is trained in pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. She provides non-medical physical and emotional support to an expectant mother and her family during labor and childbirth. UCSD doulas spend 10 to 14 hours on average at each birth. A doula:

  • Stays with the mom through labor and birth
  • Helps fathers or partners participate at their comfort level
  • Provides continuous one-on-one physical, emotional, and informational support
  • Assists other family members and hospital staff

Why would a laboring mom want a doula?

Studies show that doula care results in:

  • Shorter labor
  • Less need of pain medication
  • 50% reduction in Cesarean births
  • Better clinical outcomes for mom and baby