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Traditional Healthcare Workers: Birthing Doulas

Women are generally attended and supported by other women during labor. Birthing Doulas are non-medical birth coaches trained and certified in supporting women through birth and postpartum needs. Doulas offer physical support and emotional support to all birth partners. They use evidence-based techniques and are trained to bridge communication between women and their providers. This is especially true in mitigating the effects of social determinants of health by addressing health literacy and social support needs that may arise. The literature supports the impact Doulas have on positive health outcomes of pregnant women and infants. This is especially true in communities with limited access to resources. According to a study done by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologist, doula-supported women had lower c-section births, lowers rates of preterm births, and lower rates of low birthweights.

In partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, CHA is growing our local network of certified Doulas in Klamath County. On March 19th-21st and March 26th-28th, CHA sponsored a virtual doula training for 17 Klamath County residents. The six-day doula training will train people how to assist women in preparing for and then through hospital births. Participation and completion of the course meets the exam and training hours required set by the Oregon Health Authority for each participant to register as a Traditional Healthcare Worker. To finalize registration as a traditional healthcare worker doula and bill Medicaid for services, each participant must attend three births.

Requirements set by the Oregon Health Authority are:

  • Complete an approved training program; or
  • Provide documentation of all birth doula training requirements listed in OAR 410-180-0375; and
  • Meet the cultural competency course requirements through an approved training program for doulas.

For more information on CHA’s Doula training course or to learn about upcoming Traditional Healthcare Worker courses, please contact CHA’s Traditional Healthcare Worker Liaison, Paki Story, at 541.883.2947.