Irene Bourquin is an Internationally Certified Doula and is present enrolled in the new Post Partum doula course . Once qualified she will train doulas to support families post natally .

She is the trainer of WOMBS ( women offering mothers birth support )doulas in the Western Cape. Irene  trained Avis Coxon in Kwa Zulu Natal   ,Colleen Pedersen in Port Elizabeth and on the course at present 3 midwives from Limpopo ,as WOMBS Doula trainers . Barbara Hanrahan trains doulas in Gauteng .

  • Where can you find a doula ?
  • Interested in finding out about doula training ?
  • What is a doula ?
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  • Benefits of doula support ?

Research throughout the world including South Africa proved the enormous benefit of continuous support for couples during labour and birth

From the inception of this research in South Africa  Johnson and Johnson have worked with the WOMBS Committee to help doulas through educational workshops and financial aid  to  reach the professional status they have achieved enhance taking their place as part of the maternity team , It is Irene’s hope that in the not too distant future all couples ( Should they choose ) will be able to have a doula to support them through this significant family centred event.  It is time !!


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The Doula shall maintain a high standard of personal conduct in the capacity or identity as a labour support provider

Competence/Professional development

A Doula should strive to maintain professional knowledge through continuing education, affiliation with related organizations with other labour support providers.


A Doula should maintain professional integrity at all times.

Ethical Responsibility to Clients

Client’s Interest

The Doula’s primary responsibility is to her clients, without jeopardizing medical safety.

Client’s rights

A Doula does not act on behalf of her client, nor does she make decisions for her client, but rather serves to provide support and Information.


The Doula will respect the privacy of her client.


The Doula should assist each client seeking labour support either by providing support or making appropriate referrals.


When the Doula agrees to work with a particular client she must agree to do so reliably for the term of the contract.

Ethical Responsibility

The Doula will treat all members of the, birth team with respect, courtesy, fairness and good faith. Conflicts and/or differences in opinion will never be discussed In the presence of the labouring women or during the labouring process. All matters that arise pertaining to conflict will be discussed calmly and well after the birth process is completed.

Ethical Responsibility to the Labour Support Profession

Maintenance and Advancement

The Doula shall uphold and advance the, ethics and knowledge of the professional childbirth companions.

Community Awareness

The Doula will continue to work towards increasing public awareness of the benefits of the professional childbirth companions.

Societal Responsibility

The Doula shall promote the general health and well being of women and their infants and extend this responsibility to their families at all times.






A. Services Rendered

The Doula accompanies the woman in labour, provides emotional and physical support, suggests comfort measures, and provides support and suggestions for the partner. Whenever possible, the Doula provides pre and postnatal support, Including explanation and discussion of practices and procedures, and assistance In acquiring the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about her care additionally, Daubs do not “presaibe” treatment Any suggestions of Information provided within the role of the Doula mug be done with the proviso that the Dacia advise her client to check with her primary care provider before using any application

B. Umits to Practice

The Doula does not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, foetal heart tone checks, vaginal examinations or postnatal clinical care. WOMBS standards apply to emotional and physical support only.

C. Advocate

The Doug advocates for her dienes wishes as expressed in her birth plan, in prenatal conversations and intrapartum discussions. She helps the mother Incorporate changes in plans If and when the need arises, and enhances communication between dent and caregiver. Client and Doulas must recognise that the advocacy role does not include the Doula speaking on behalf of the client or making decisions for the dent. The advocacy role is best described as support, information and mediation or negotiation.

2. Continuity of Care

The Doula should make back-up arrangements with another Doula to ensure services to the client If the Doula is sick or

unable to be reached. Should any Darla a need to discontinue service to an established client, It is the Doula’s responsibility to notify the client and arrange for a replacement, If the client so desires. This may be accomplished by introdudng the dient to the Doula’s back-up, suggestion that another member of WOMBS or another Oathsmay be more appropriate for the situation, or contacting the WOMBS regional representative for the names of other Doubts in the area.

3. Training and Experience

A. Training

Doulas who are certified by WOMBS have completed all the requirements as set forth In the WOMBS Requirements for Cerdncation. This includes completing the training in childbirth and labour support course which consists of at least 14 hours of trainim, read a minimum of 4 books from the WOMBS reading list, write and pass a formal examination. The practical requirements for the course include observation of two births as well as labour support for two women for the duration of labour, birth and for one hour after birth.

B. Experience

Douias certified by WOMBS will have the experience set forth In the WOMBS Requirements for Certification. This Includes provision of support to at least 4 dents, good evaluations from clients end healthcare providers, and records of four births, Inducing a summary, observation form and accounts for each birth.

C. Maintanence of Cartification

Doubts must attend at least one continuing education event per year in maternal/child health.

D. Record Keeping

The Doula maintains dear and accurate records for each client encounter and the birth.









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