Hearts & Hands UCSD Volunteer Doula Program

DOULAS - THE RETURN OF A TIME-HONORED TRADITION OF SUPPORT DURING BIRTH

Why Volunteer?

Sometimes families don't even realize that they'd like help from a doula until labor has already begun.


We serve a population in need, advocating for each mother individually.  

We influence healthcare staff and birth practices. 

Our doulas get a wide variety of experiences in two distinct delivery settings. 

We serve from the heart and gain great satisfaction in return.


The UCSD Medical Center serves many families in San Diego who would not otherwise have access to quality health care, and doula care is offered to anyone having a baby in our hospitals. 

The families we serve are not the only ones benefiting from our volunteer doula program. Because we work in a teaching hospital, the nursing, midwifery, and medical students who rotate through are also gaining an important awareness and understanding of the clinical and social aspects of this type of support to birthing families.   


Our doulas receive significant benefits in return for their generous donation of time. 

Did you know that many of our doulas have continued to volunteer for years at at time?

For others, it's a stepping stone to related careers in nursing, midwifery, medicine, childbirth education,

or private practice doula work. They receive unprecedented education, mentoring, and supportive experience while gaining a familiarity with the hospital environment. Regardless of these other benefits, those who are drawn to this work say they are interested in giving to the community, and feel great fulfillment in being part of the miracle of birth. Our doulas get back as much as they give!   


Minimum Commitment:

 Our doulas don't leave until the baby is born! 

 This is a long-term volunteering commitment (at least twice a month, for a minimum six months) that requires significant physical and emotional stamina, as well as a flexible schedule. 

As such, it has not usually proven to be a good fit for busy college students or breastfeeding mothers with very young babies. If the doula program does not seem right for you, there many ways to volunteer within the UCSD medical system. You can find more information about other opportunities that are easier on busy schedules, on this website for Volunteer Services:  http://health.ucsd.edu/volunteer.

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What our doulas say about volunteering with Hearts & Hands:

Your standards and expectations for the volunteer doulas are exceptional. The many in-services, lectures and workshops provided for us are outstanding. So far I have found them all to be relevant and useful in my role as a doula. The support from the doula program and the hospital staff is tremendous. Any time I have a question or other need arise, there has been someone available. -  Jewel +


To support people while moving through the journey of birth is the greatest blessing. It's an honor to bear witness to one of the biggest transformations a human undergoes. - Tasha 

What our doulas say about volunteering for Hearts & Hands:

Your standards and expectations for the volunteer doulas are exceptional. The many in-services, lectures and workshops provided for us are outstanding. So far I have found them all to be relevant and useful in my role as a doula. The support from the doula program and the hospital staff is tremendous. Any time I have a question or other need arise, there has been someone available.  Jewel (Volunteer Doula)