No prior experience is necessary but a very flexible schedule is needed, plus the emotional and physical stamina to attend long labors.
We welcome experienced doulas, and those who have never attended a birth yet.
On-site training, mentoring, and continuing education is provided for our doulas in return for a minimum commitment of being on-call twice a month for at least six months.
Many of our volunteers stay with us for years.
The average time our doulas stay at a birth is 12-14 hours, but it may be quite a bit shorter or considerably longer. Since a doula often needs to rest after a birth, we only offer to volunteer when we don't have other commitments near the dates we've chosen to to be on the schedule.
(We recommend that a doula has a 48-hour period of time available when on call.)
If our program doesn't match your volunteering interests, take a look at the Volunteer Services website for more great opportunities http://health.ucsd.edu/volunteer
Attend our two-day Introductory Doula Training held at the UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla. Call the Doula Office at 858-249-5935 or email Ann Fulcher, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information and to sign up.
After attending the training, we'll connect you with UCSD Volunteer Services to complete certain requirements including an interview, safety training, and background check. You will also be asked to provide childhood immunization records and obtain a volunteer ID badge before assisting at a birth as a UCSD doula. Currently all hospital volunteers are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and obtain a flu shot annually.
Attend a half-day tour/orientation to the hospital with Hearts & Hands staff. The tour may be done prior to completing the hospital's Volunteer Services requirements.
Once you have attended our training and tour, have finished the Volunteer Services Department requirements and received your ID badge, you are ready to sign up on the doula schedule with a mentor.
You can work alongside mentor doulas for a few births until the Hearts & Hands staff, the mentors, and you all agree that you are ready to solo. The number of births attended before new doulas go solo varies depending on each trainee's prior experience, knowledge, and comfort level.
Once you have completed your training and are ready to be a solo volunteer doula, you may sign up to the on-call schedule whenever you want. Congratulations!
(Reminder: the minimum commitment to stay active in this program is two on-call shifts per month. We also highly recommend attendance at our monthly meetings and other educational workshops.)
Thank you for your interest in becoming a UCSD Hearts & Hands Volunteer Doula!