The association Slovak Doulas (OZ Slovenské duly) was founded in December 2004 and has 70 members. Among those 70 members, approximately 30 are actively working with pregnant women, including organisation of other voluntary activities such as discussions, workshops, conferences, etc.
OZ Slovenské duly has its own training programme for new doulas. Training takes 12 months alltogether – 6 weekends active training and individual home study of compulsory literature. Training includes theory with a midwife, gynaecologist, pediatrician, certified doulas, coaching 2 mothers through labour, written final work and a final exam.
Mission of „OZ Slovenské duly“ can be summarized by a quotation of Marshall H. Klaus – an American obstetrician: „The more praise and encouragement a mother gets while in labour, the more love and patience she will later have for her baby.“
Our main goals are:
– offer mothers support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum,
– endorse changes in Slovak healthcare system focusing on women and babies to satisfy the needs of mothers and newborns,
– inform layman and also professional public about pregnancy, delivery, taking care of babies and breastfeeding,
– facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and pregnant women,
– inform general public as well as healthcare professionals about the role of a doula.
The only official place for delivering babies is the hospital what is accompanied with many routine practices. No birth centres or ambulatory births do exist. Slovak women have no choice at home birth attended by an expert, but some women give birth at home, attended by a midwife from some other country or unattended.
The main aims of all our activities are to change people´s prejudice abouth pregnancy and delivery, to minimize interventions during labour and provide women with a choice of place for giving birth.
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