Doula work is a fairly new profession in Greece. From 1997 to 2007 there were two or three active doulas working, who received their training from organizations from abroad. They attended births (mostly homebirths) and helped families after the births. As their work was not known, supported or referred to by the perinatal field, we do not have more precise data on the number of families they have helped.
In 2007 the Natural Birth Organization ‘Eutokia’ organized a postnatal Doula Training Course, out of which came 20 postnatal doulas. About half of them are actively working.
In 2010 Debra Pascali-Bonaro gave a DONA approved birth doula workshop in Athens, out of which came 20 birth doulas. Due to difficulties in being accepted as a doula by the birth community and birth professionals, only a few of them are active – most doulas face difficulties getting practice and experience.
The Greek Doula Association
In 2008 the Greek Doula Association was created, by passionate postpartum doulas certified in the local training course in 2007. Since then, the Association has increasingly gained recognition and is actively involved in the birth community, aiming to support both mothers, families and doulas.
The main goals of the Association are:
> offering practical and emotional support to new mothers from birth to 3 months postpartum,
> the promotion and recognition of the doula profession in Greece, and
> continuous education of our members.
The Association is taking part in birth activism, through participation in ENCA Hellas (Greek branch of the European Network of Childbirth Associations), organizes informational events on the role of doula and general issues on childbirth and birth/postpartum resources, and is working on quality programs for trainings, certification, re-certification and on-going education for doulas.
Activities of our Association include:
~ Film showings, followed by discussions with professionals and the general public