Our doulas are well-trained volunteers, and our services are free to anyone having a baby at both UC San Diego's Jacobs Medical Center and Hillcrest Medical Center. At the UC San Diego Medical Centers women can give birth in one of two settings, depending on their personal preference and medical needs. Our doulas are available to assist women delivering their baby in both the in-hospital Birth Center (which offers mothers a low-intervention alternative, with Certified Nurse-Midwives) and in the Labor & Delivery Unit (with both midwives and physicians available in a hospital setting). Hearts & Hands doulas are a diverse group of on-call childbirth assistants experienced in supporting the whole family through the birth process. Our doulas have been trained on site, and many have additional training in pregnancy, childbirth education, labor & delivery, breastfeeding and other related topics. Because Hearts & Hands doulas are all volunteers, we work primarily on-call - meaning in most cases the doula and mother have not met previously. But the magic begins when the doula introduces herself to the whole family and says "I'm here to help you in any way you wish, and I won't leave you until your baby is born!"
The healthcare staff welcomes our doulas in labor rooms, and in the O.R. for most cesarean deliveries. We are accustomed to the particular hospital setting, and its policies and procedures. The staff and doulas get to know one another and develop working relationships, and the families we serve benefit the most.
Click here to read about the working relationship between nurses and doulas.
New mother Michelle Brubaker and doula program director Ann Fulcher talk about how a doula can help a family through childbirth. Click below to watch the video.