Institute of perinatal support – Russia
Institute of perinatal support is an organization that links Russian-speaking doulas to current knowledge, relevant skills and best practices providing professional education and development opportunities. In 2015 we started a Professional birth doula preparation course, then courses for Postpartum doulas, CBEs and advanced skills programs (such as Hypnotherapy for birth attendants), led by doulas specializing in these areas or relevant specialists.
Our core 14 – week online doula course is designed to prepare aspiring doulas to provide emotional, informational and physical support within doula scope of practice. Course focuses not only on labour support doula skills, knowledge and communication skills required to discuss relevant information, but personal growth, as doula’s emotional intelligence and mindfulness are her most important skills, that allow understanding different viewpoints, be unbiased, support women in their own decision making process and implementing those decisions. Organization and marketing of doula practice is also included in this course as essential elements of sustainable doula work.
The program is highly interactive and includes not only webinars and video lessons, but also group discussions in different formats, case studies, one-on-one work, group tasks, and individual work, simulating different aspects of doula work. Week after week participants learn about some of the principles, skills or concepts used in doula support, implement it in practical assignments and discuss in group their experience to gain more insights and walk this path with support and supervision, be it a listening practice, physical support skill, providing unbiased information or going through emotional processing or decision making process. The course draws on experience and knowledge of several doulas and features guest speaking sessions with experienced doulas from different cities, to show different styles of doula work, to facilitate finding one’s own unique path within doula scope of services and code of ethics.
Contents of the course:
For providing emotional support: understanding emotions, unbiased nonjudgmental support, social intelligence, processing own emotional baggage and birth experiences, techniques for maintaining emotional health, listening and communication skills, support in decision-making, understanding how values affect decision-making, doula role and scope of practice. Special consideration is given to supporting in grief and loss and after traumatic birth.
For informational support: physiology of pregnancy, tests, screenings, common practices, procedures and complications in pregnancy, physiology of birth, management of birth, postpartum physiology, lactation physiology and breastfeeding support, cesarean section, birth options after cesarean.
Physical support: pain in labor and coping techniques, breathing, vocalizing, touch, massage, counter pressure, rebozo techniques, positioning and tips to give clients ideas on achieving optimal phoetal positioning and progress in labour, relaxation. Basic needs of labouring woman and helping to create comfortable environment. Supporting complicated births Participants learn how to do it, when to do it, and when not to do anything except for just being there.
Doula practice: organizing your practice, contracts, partnerships for back-up, finding clients, different approaches to doula package, tailoring services to specific needs of clients, self-care.
Certification process includes a reflective essay of a client support experience, book reviews, creating a structured one-year plan for doula practice development.