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Dear New Doula,

On behalf of everyone at Colorado Volunteer Doulas, we would like to welcome you to our group. We are a unique group in that each doula works with the laboring mother as a volunteer, not seeking any compensation for the work that we do. Our reward comes from being able to help individuals and families in labor and with the joy of childbirth itself. By joining Colorado Volunteer Doulas, you have become part of a very special organization, the only one like it in the Denver area. 

In becoming a part of Colorado Volunteer Doulas, we hope that you will always represent us as an organization that works collegially with others, who include laboring individuals and families, midwives, doctors, and nurses. We deeply respect our clients, recognizing that each individual labors differently and uniquely according to her needs and beliefs. As doulas, we are there to support these women in having the kind of birth they want, encouraging them to express these needs and the deep feelings which surround birth in any way that is comfortable for them. 

Colorado Volunteer Doulas doulas are expected to work respectfully with all nurses, midwives, and doctors. We do not speak for our clients but rather work to empower individuals and families to ask questions and take part in all decisions.

As new doulas, you may encounter feelings of your own that are difficult or overwhelming. You will sometimes be in situations where you are not sure what to do. When these feelings or situations occur, we hope that you will turn to experienced doulas in our group who are always willing to listen and suggest possibilities. We plan to offer continuing education workshops that we will strongly encourage you to attend. Colorado Volunteer Doulas is therefore not only an organization that supports laboring individuals and families, but also one that supports doulas as they grow and become more experienced.

We welcome your participation, your ideas, your questions, and your thoughts. We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities to serve laboring individuals and families and to grow as a doula yourself!

Thank you,

Nicki Dunnavant

Founder and Executive Director, Colorado Volunteer Doulas


Mission and Structure

Our Mission:

Everyone deserves a doula. 

Colorado Volunteer Doulas (CVD) supports a cadre of volunteer birth professionals that will provide comprehensive doula support to individuals and families in labor and post-partum. 

A Colorado Volunteer Doula chooses to commit his or her time to helping pregnant people and families in the Denver area. Doulas commit their time on an on-call basis, to accommodate a variety of schedules and commitments. Our doulas are trained by accredited organizations and many are certified and have a range of years of experience in the birth professional world. Each doula has been interviewed by a CVD administrator to ensure that they support our mission and are committed to the families we serve. Each doula has also undergone an orientation with us, that includes training on scope of work, code of ethics, and diversity training. 


  • Provide continuous labor support

  • Provide childbirth education, breastfeeding, and postpartum support

  • Recruit trained and supportive doulas

  • Provide ongoing training and mentoring for your fellow volunteer doulas

  • Build a network between yourself/other doulas and health care providers


Structure of Colorado Volunteer Doulas

Colorado Volunteer Doulas is an independent program in Colorado that is made up of volunteers, an Executive Director (Nicki Dunnavant), and a Training and Mentoring Director (Penny Lyons). 

Volunteer Doulas: Our volunteers are all trained doulas and work as on-call birth doulas. They assist mothers and their families in a variety of ways throughout labor and immediate postpartum periods. Eventually, CVD will offer continuing education exclusively to our volunteers throughout the year for the purpose of professional development. 



Services we offer

The on-call program

The on-call model of care currently services Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado. We create a calendar each month consisting of 12-hour shifts. The shifts run from 7am to 7 pm, and from 7pm to 7am.

A doula signs up for at least one shift throughout the month. On the doula’s shift, he or she calls the main line to the birth center and will ask to speak with the attending nurse, midwife, or other clinical provider on call (dependent on hospital group) to find out if there are any patients needing a doula. If there is a patient wanting a doula, the doula goes in to support her. Otherwise, the doula remains available via phone for the 12-hour period in case he or she is needed. Most shifts have two doulas on-call so we are able to serve more than one client at a time.

On-call doulas serve as volunteers. 

Parking at Swedish Medical Center is free. 

Natural childbirth classes

Childbirth education classes are not currently offered through CVD, though we hope to be able to offer such classes to expecting parents and birth workers alike in the future.

Lactation support services

Lactation-specific services and classes are not currently offered through CVD, though we hope to be able to offer such services and classes in the future.

Mentoring and continuing education for doulas

CVD intends to offer continuing education workshops to our volunteer doulas in the future. In the interim, DONA trainer Penny Lyon will serve as the official CVD Training and Mentoring Director. Penny will direct all programming related to training, mentorship, and professional development. Penny and Nicki, as well as our more experienced doulas, are available to offer informal support and mentorship to newer doulas.

Doula Etiquette

Representing Colorado Volunteer Doulas

We are happy that Colorado Volunteer Doulas is made up of many kinds of doulas with a variety of skills and backgrounds. Please remember that when you are working with a Colorado Volunteer Doulas client, you are representing our program as a professional and we anticipate that you will meet all of the expectations we have listed below. We cannot thank you enough for being a part of this wonderful team.

Colorado Volunteer Doulas Doula Requirements

  • All doulas will have met with Nicki or Penny to ensure the program is the right match for both the doula and for our program. Doulas must be at least 18 years of age. 

  • All doulas will have been trained by an accredited doula training organization. Doulas must present copies of their training certificates to Nicki and/or Penny prior to working with any clients. Certification is not required. We welcome doulas of all experience levels. 

  • All doulas will need to complete a volunteer application and provide references.

  • All doulas will need to submit to a background check prior to working with any clients. 

  • All doulas will attend a Colorado Volunteer Doulas orientation workshop prior to working with any clients. 

  • Once continuing education is offered, doulas will be encouraged to attend at least two of four continuing education/professional development sessions offered each year (on a quarterly basis).

Expectations for all Colorado Volunteer Doulas Doulas

  • All doulas will speak with the staff of participating hospital groups in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. Colorado Volunteer Doulas doulas are present in the hospital to work collegially with the hospital staff. Doulas do not advocate on behalf of the mothers to the hospital staff (this would disempower the mother).

  • All doulas need to be easily reachable via phone and email. Most of our correspondence is done via email. Doulas will receive emails at least once a week from Colorado Volunteer Doulas. Doulas need to have reliable phone service during their on-call times and for several hours before your on-call shift begins. 

  • All doulas must fill out an availability form each month. This form is available online and is quick and easy to complete. The only exception to filling out the online forms is for doulas that have gone on leave (e.g., pregnancy, personal, illness, etc.). Doulas should contact Nicki to discuss and make arrangements.

  • We expect that doulas cover at least one on-call shift per month.

  • We expect doulas to represent Colorado Volunteer Doulas appropriately and to work within the proper scope of practice of a doula. Some important practice guidelines are listed below.

Scope of Practice

As a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula, you will be offering emotional, physical, and informational support to our clients. This includes comfort measures, basic information about pregnancy and labor, basic information about postpartum and newborn care, and basic information about breastfeeding. Doulas are present to support and empower the mother, to support her partner and family, and to encourage the mother and family to make decisions they believe are best for the mother and baby.

Hot and cold therapy is usually within a doula’s scope of practice. Aromatherapy can be within the doula’s scope of practice; choosing essential oils for pleasure is reasonable, but choosing essential oils based on their healing properties requires training outside that for doulas. Before using an essential oil or perfumed product, you must check to make sure that everyone in the room, including staff, is comfortable with the smell and is not allergic to it. Massage is within a doula’s scope of practice, but acupressure requires additional training. Helping a mother assume different positions and to move about are of course within a doula’s scope of practice, but if there are any special medical conditions to consider, it is important to check with the midwife, nurse, or doctor. 

As a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula, you should NEVER:

  • Perform any medical tasks. This includes, but is not limited to: performing vaginal exams, taking fetal heart tones, making any diagnoses (including fetal positions), or taking vital signs. If the mother is being continuously monitored, you may ask the nurse if she prefers to be called whenever the mother uses the bathroom (usually requiring the monitoring to be unplugged) or whether she prefers the mother, partner, or you to disconnect the device.

  • Make any medical judgment or give medical advice requiring the medical expertise of a trained professional. 

  • Speak to staff on the client’s behalf. The mother can discuss her concerns with you and you can urge her to speak with the medical staff directly. 

  • Diagnose breastfeeding problems or address issues that are not within your expertise. You should always defer first to the hospital’s lactation specialist. If they are comfortable with your participation, you will act as a partner to the lactation specialist. 

Client-Doula Boundaries

The relationship developed between clients and doulas is a very special one and one where healthy boundaries are necessary. It is important for doulas to remember that their primary role is to provide support to mothers and their family. 

Doulas may use their Colorado Volunteer Doulas experience towards labor support and postpartum certification. 

As a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula, you should never request clients to participate in any other capacity than what is outlined in this handbook. 


Due to current confidentiality regulations, all doulas need a signed consent form from on-call birth clients before taking notes, talking with them about their labor, or assisting them in labor. Sometimes it is difficult to get this signed if the mother is in hard labor. If this is the case, you can have it signed as soon as the mother is able to do so. The signed consent form should be sent to Nicki. This can be scanned and emailed to or the paper copy can be sent to the appropriate mailing address (4595 Perry Street. Denver, CO. 80212). Only one consent form per client is needed.

Please use the utmost care when discussing client information. Personal information should be kept private and should only be discussed with doulas that are working directly with that client, when pertinent. When discussing challenging births or asking advice from mentors, you must not disclose the client’s name or identifying information. 

Safety and Risk

As a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula, we ask that you recognize the risk that you take in being present in a medical situation. You may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens or other pathogens while in the hospital setting. You are encouraged to wear gloves when working with your client when bodily fluids are present. These gloves are available in all hospital rooms and can be freely used throughout labor and delivery.

When you arrive home, remove your shoes and leave them outside your door. You can also keep them in a bag in your car. Go immediately to the laundry and remove all outer clothing for washing in hot water. You may choose to leave an extra set of clothes in your car that you can change into immediately after leaving the hospital. There are pathogens that can live up to ten days outside of a fluid environment that are present in hospital environments. 

We require that all volunteer doulas be up-to-date on their vaccines and receive a seasonal flu vaccine if working as a volunteer doula during flu season. Getting a flu shot greatly helps to protect mothers and babies who are susceptible to the flu.

Similarly, we ask that you use the utmost caution in exposing clients to illness. Please stay home and find back-up coverage when you may be contagious with an illness. 

Remember that when working with clients, you may also protect yourself against verbal abuse from clients, their visitors, and staff. If you feel unsafe while working as a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula, please contact an administrator immediately. You may leave the birth if you feel that you are being treated inappropriately.

Doula Insurance

We highly recommend that you consider purchasing private liability insurance for your doula services. Annual fees for doula insurance are inexpensive (approximately $80-$110) and are a good protection for you. The group’s malpractice insurance for postpartum doulas covers labor support doulas as well.

CM&F Group


Self-Care and Hygiene

In order to best serve a mother, you must take care of yourself. This includes taking breaks to rest, eat, and use the bathroom. Please do not eat in front of a mother who cannot eat. Similarly, do not eat stinky foods in the labor room, whether she is eating or not. Bringing along breath mints, gum, and a toothbrush is a good idea. 

Take the time to wash your hands frequently, for your safety and hers. Bring along deodorant (preferably one that is not overly perfumed) and reapply as needed. If you are not at your freshest and have been at a birth for a long time, take some time to step in the bathroom and rinse your face and freshen up a bit. This is both to help you perk up after a long stretch and to respect the mother’s sensitivity for strong smells. 

If you are ill or have been at a birth for a very long time, consider calling a back-up. It is not fair for the mother to have a doula that cannot serve her well. A fresh, healthy doula can be a better support to her when you reach a breaking point. 

Remember that you are not alone. If you need a quick pep talk or some advice, step out and call your mentor or another experienced doula to get you through a tough spot. It’s amazing what some kind words can do for a weary doula. 

On-Call Program

Filling in the Calendar

Colorado Volunteer Doulas creates a monthly on-call calendar with 12-hour shifts. Shifts are from 7:00am to 7:00 pm and from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. There are two doulas on every shift, whenever possible.

Nicki will ask doulas to begin submitting their availability mid-month for the following month. Doulas will be emailed a link to a web address that includes an online form. The form must be filled out. Google Sheets will automatically save your additions to the calendar. The information will go directly to a document for Nicki to see. Doulas have about a week to fill out the form; a deadline will be given out each month for clarity.

Every doula must fill out this monthly form as a requirement of remaining active with Colorado Volunteer Doulas. Exceptions are given for doulas that are on leave and have discussed their leave with Nicki. 

Nicki will begin to create a first-draft calendar using the availability given to her from the doulas. She will do her best to be fair to shift requests, while maximizing coverage. A doula will never be assigned to a shift that he or she did not request or agree to.

After the first draft is complete, Nicki will email it to all of the doulas. At this time, doulas should check the calendar to make sure that they can cover the shifts that they were assigned. Doulas should double-check their phone numbers. If there are any open shifts, doulas may request to fill them in on a first come, first served basis. Such requests should be submitted via email. Nicki will respond to each request as it comes in so that the doula knows if he or she has been assigned to it or not. 

The final draft of the calendar is usually complete and sent out on the second to last weekday of the month. It will be emailed to doulas. Participating hospital groups are also given copies of the calendar each month.  

Calling the Clinical Providers

Doulas will go on-call beginning at 7:00 am for the morning shift and at 7:00 pm for the evening shift. This means that you may be called before these times in order to get to the hospital when needed. You may be called in to assist a mother at any time during your shift. You will need to have your phone on from two hours before your shift begins. 

Doulas will call the clinical providers/nurses at the hospital once per shift. For the morning shift, this is done between 9:00 and 9:45 am. For the evening shift, this is done between 7:00 pm and 7:45 pm. Although morning calls aren’t done until 9:00 am, the provider/nurse or preceding doula may call you in before this time. We chose call times that best complemented the change of shifts for the clinical providers and work/school times for doulas. 

The “Starred Doula” will page the provider/nurse on call. Calling procedures are detailed later in this document. The Starred Doula will call each hospital at the designated times and will wait for them to call back. We attend births on a first-come, first-served basis.

When the provider/nurse calls you back, you must introduce yourself and say that you are a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula. When they receive your page, all they have is your number, so it is important to introduce yourself! Similarly, a provider/nurse whom you don’t anticipate may call you back; if this happens, simply ask for his or her name and proceed to inquire about the details of the client.

The provider/nurse will tell you whether a doula is needed. The provider/nurse might tell you right away that he or she wants you to come in. In contrast, they might say that the “floor is quiet” without clients or they “may” have a mother who “may” need a doula later. 

The provider/nurse knows to keep in touch with you if any client decides to have a doula. You can remind them of this as well. If you are not needed at a hospital, you will leave your name and your partner doula’s name and phone numbers with the provider/nurse.

If a mother DOES want a doula, the provider/nurse will often give you some details about the case. You must clarify that the mother herself has requested your presence. You can say “Would the mother like me to come now?” This will help clarify that the mother herself has consented to your care, and that it is not just the provider/nurse who thinks you might be valuable. Before attending a birth, you must get the full name and room number of the mother from the provider/nurse. You will need this information when being admitted as a hospital volunteer. If you forget this information, you can ask the provider/nurse on the floor. 

If you are called into a birth, you will call your partner doula to let him or her know so he or she can be on back up for yours or other births. 

Going into a Birth

If you are called into a birth, you will head to the hospital as soon as the provider/nurse tells you to do so. It is a good idea to make sure that the mom wants you to come “now.” It is a good idea to let her know about how long it will take you to arrive. Make sure she has your number in case anything changes while you are in route to the hospital (for example if the baby is born!).  

You must wear a Colorado Volunteer Doulas t-shirt or badge to any Colorado Volunteer Doulas birth. This is a requirement and is essential to establishing ourselves as a professional organization among hospital staff. 

Enter the hospital L&D unit as described later in this document. Go first to the nurse’s station and introduce yourself. The nurses will direct you to the appropriate room. Make sure to knock on the client’s door before entering. You must also foam in each time before entering a patient’s room and foam out upon leaving. These policies apply to every kind of transition within the room as well (foam before/after touching client, foam before/after touching food or birthing supplies, etc.).

Introduce yourself as soon as possible to everyone in the room. You must introduce yourself as a Colorado Volunteer Doulas doula and give your name to the client, her guests, and all hospital staff. Continue to introduce yourself to new staff persons as they enter the room. 

Once you introduce yourself and get settled, you will need to gauge where to slip into the scene. This can be a challenge, as you are entering a space that is private, emotionally charged, and sometimes medically intricate. You may be able to jump right in and begin to provide comfort measures for mom or you may need some time to get to know her and get comfortable before hands-on contact feels right.

You will need to have the mother sign the Consent Form. It is probably easier to get this signed sooner than later. It can feel like an invasive to have her pause to do this, but it is a requirement for receiving services. It is best to have her sign it before transition, pushing, and delivery, or it may never get signed. You can have a support person fill out the contact information or you may do it yourself as long as the mother herself gives her signature. This document will later be sent to the Nicki, so keep it safe and dry. Only one consent form is needed for each mom, so only one doula per labor needs to collect it. 

Tell the mother what you are there for and what you can do for her. Let her know that you will stay until delivery or until the end of your shift when you can call in another doula, if needed. Be tactful when discussing shift changes; you may not want to imply that she will still be in labor 12 hours later!

Attend the mother through labor until delivery and stay 1-2 hours after. You can help with breastfeeding (deferring to the hospital’s lactation specialist as needed), skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, and can help the mother get comfortable and settled.

If you cannot stay past the end of your shift, call the shift’s doulas as soon as possible. If it is obvious that labor will be long, it’s a good idea to give the next shift’s doula a heads up so he or she can be prepared. If early on you aren’t sure that you will need relief, you can see how labor progresses. Make sure to give her at least two hours’ notice to relieve you on time. 

After the birth, you must report your attendance with a “Labor Support Information Form.” This is an online form that is accessed via the link sent in our regular emails to doulas. The web address never changes, so you can bookmark it and use it every time. Every doula that attends a mother for any amount of time for labor, delivery, or postpartum support must fill out this form. We use this information to track our statistics and need it to apply for funds each year.

Cesarean Births

In the case of Cesarean birth, it is lovely if you can stay until delivery to help with breastfeeding (deferring to the hospital’s lactation specialist as needed) and postpartum support. This may depend, however, on hospital policies regarding the number of visitors allowed in the recovery room. If mom has no other birth partner, you may be able to go with her into the O.R. and stay with her throughout recovery. If mom does have other birth partners, she will likely have one of them attend the surgery. Many hospitals do not allow visitors for several hours postpartum, so discuss the situation with the family and decide what is best. You are not required or expected to wait 1-4 hours after a Cesarean in order to offer postpartum support. If you do stay, ask the hospital staff where you can meet her after the delivery. 

Standard Procedures for an on-call shift

  • CVD doulas are expected to cover the shifts that they have committed to. As an individual, the doula has agreed to serve CVD. As an organization, CVD has agreed to be available to mothers at the hospital we serve. We take your commitment to the calendar very seriously. Information about our cancellation policies is listed later in this document. 

  • There are two doulas on every shift, whenever possible. Each doula is expected to be available to attend a birth. The first doula listed on the calendar is the “Starred Doula.” She is responsible for calling the provider/nurse and for communicating with her partner doula. The partner doula shares responsibility for attending births, which is why we do NOT consider the partner doula a backup. 

  • Doulas must have their phone ringers on and be available to answer the phone one shift prior to the shift you are covering. This is needed in case the previous shift’s doula, partner doula, provider/nurse, or Nicki needs to get ahold of you. For example, you may be needed to relieve a doula exactly at 7:00 am and would need to be called early enough to get dressed and to the hospital on time.

  • Be prepared to leave for a labor immediately. This means that you should be showered, have your bag packed, and snacks ready to go. Time from request to arrival should be no more than one hour if at all possible.

  • Communicate with your doula partner. Colorado Volunteer Doulas depends on good communication between doula partners. You need to touch base with your partner doula the day before you share a shift. This is a shared responsibility. Please do not call or text your partner after 9:00 pm if you are checking in about the following day’s shift. You can check in with each other and decide who will go in to a birth first. The Starred Doula must also call his or her partner doula after calling the clinical providers to let him or her know if there are any mothers in need of doulas. 

  • Communicate with the next shift of doulas if you need to call a doula in to follow your shift. Give the doula on the next shift at least 2 hours’ notice so he or she can be there to relive you at the time you need. 

  • If the provider/nurse does not return your call, you can re-page, but wait at least one hour before doing so. The providers/nurses have your number and may be in the middle of a delivery. They are pretty good about getting back to us in a timely manner. 

  • If any problems or challenging situations occur with anyone (doulas, providers, nurses, administrators, clients), please notify Nicki immediately.

  • Remember that not everyone utilizes text messaging. When in doubt, make a phone call.

  • If your client has an epidural, your role as a doula is vitally important. If you have questions about this, please contact your mentor.


After attendance supporting an on-call client in labor, delivery, or postpartum, you must submit two pieces of paperwork.

  • The signed consent form should be sent to Nicki. This can be scanned and emailed to or the paper copy can be sent to the appropriate mailing address (4595 Perry Street. Denver, CO. 80212). Only one consent form per client is needed.

  • An online “labor support information form” must be completed and submitted online. Please submit within 24 hours after the birth for the most accurate records. Each doula present must fill out this form. It is easily completed online via the link sent to doulas in our regular emails. Please read carefully and take care to press “submit” at the end.

Cancellation Procedures

Cancellations for shifts should be reserved for illness, emergencies, and attendance at another birth. For reasons other than those listed above, we expect you to follow through with your commitment to the calendar. After the final draft is out, all calendar changes must be discussed with Nicki directly.

In general, you are expected to find a replacement for your shift if you must cancel it. It is wise to offer switching shifts with another doula, if possible. To do so, we ask that you make individual phone calls or emails to doulas. DO NOT send a mass email to the volunteer doulas. The only persons who should send such a mass email about shift coverage will be Nicki or Penny. 

We will ask you monthly in the availability form whether you are willing to take calls from Nicki to help with last-minute coverage. You may receive emails about last-minute coverage either way. 

Some ideas of whom you can ask to cover your shift are:

  • Doulas who have switched with you in the past

  • Doulas who are on the calendar during similar times and days

  • Doulas preceding or following your shift

Please put in a good effort to find a replacement for your shift. You may call Nicki for some ideas of who else might be available to take the shift. You need to let Nicki know of any shift changes, whether you find the replacement for yourself or not. Nicki needs to be aware of changes so that she has the most up-to-date calendar and so she can let doulas preceding and following the shift know of changes.

If you want to cancel your shift for a non-emergent reason and cannot find a replacement, we expect you to follow through with your commitment. If you leave the shift unattended, keep in mind that you may jeopardize opportunities for receiving preferred shifts and clients in the future. 

If you must cancel a shift for an emergency, call Nicki at 817-938-8781. She will help find coverage and let doulas know of any changes. 

Collaborating Hospital Groups

Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Medical Center is located at 501 E. Hampden Avenue, Englewood, CO 80113. The main entrance to the hospital offers free valet parking, which is the easiest parking resource for doulas to use. 

Upon entering the hospital from the main entrance, turn left and walk past the coffee station. Take the elevators on your left up to the 5th floor. Birth Place is the name of their L&D Unit. Birth Place entrance doors are on the left after exiting the elevator. Push the button on the left-hand wall and introduce yourself to the nurses: “Hello I’m _NAME OF DOULA_ with Colorado Volunteer Doulas. I was called in to attend to _NAME of PATIENT_ who I believe is in room number ___.” 

After being buzzed in, walk straight to the nurses’ station where you will introduce yourself again. The nurses will direct you to the appropriate room. You will follow Swedish’s AIDET protocols upon entering the client’s room:

Sanitize hands for patient safety, hygiene, and to ensure cleanliness.




Swedish: interact primarily with nurses, offer common courtesy to provider, without interference. SWEDISH. Calling in as well. Expect to interact with nurses. 

Also swedish-specific:

A – address everyone in room

I – introduce self. Who are you, what are you doing, what are your qualifcations, how long, how many, etc.

D – duration. I’m going to be here for this long.

E – expectations. Offer info about shift and shift changes. Good time to introduce consent form.

T – thank you. Offer gratitude.

Step 1: go to nurses station at L&D. introduce and explain why you’re here. Nurses will direct us into the proper room. Evenutally will get name tag from nurse station at L&D. 

C-section: only 1 support person in room at a time. Case-by-case basis. 

Any general anesthesia section typically don’t allow anyone in there. They’re working on getting other parent/dad in room.



**Get AIDET info from Swedish team.

Relevant Swedish Statistics

10 midwives and 25 OBs/family practice docs deliver at Swedish Medical Center. 

Swedish midwives and providers typically work 12- or 24-hour shifts with shift change at either 7:00 PM or 7:00 AM.  

In any given month they serve 130-150 deliveries. 

Approximately 5-10% of the mothers are Spanish-speaking only. A much smaller percentage speak a language other than English or Spanish (next most frequent language is Arabic).

28% cesarean birth rate.

32% of mothers are on Medicaid.

Can mothers eat and drink in their rooms? Yes, unless designated by provided. Cannot eat/drink with an epidural other than ice chips. 

Do you require IV or heplock or are moms occasionally allowed to labor without? Must have heplock. 

When are moms monitored continuously versus intermittently?  Intermittent permitted. Case-dependent.

What are the placenta delivery protocols? 30 minutes? Case-dependent.

Is cutting the cord delayed at all? Standard is 2-minute delayed cord clamping with permission for anyone to cut, but case-dependent.

Do all of the delivery rooms have tubs and/or showers available for patient use? Do any have Jacuzzis? All have showers, 2 have tubs. First come first served, by request. 

Do nurses and midwives/OBs or just midwives/OBs check for dilation? Nurses and providers.

What’s available for mom use: birth balls? Birth chairs? Electronic double breast pump in place of/before Pitocin? Birth balls, birth bars, peanut balls, wedges, birth stools. Moving beds. Nurses are great with positioning with beds. Women can bring in essential oils but NO LAVENDER. 

Do you practice laboring down? Case- and provider-dependent. A lot of nurses are advocates of laboring down.

Nitrous permitted. 

Hospital Addresses and Parking Information 

Valet parking at Swedish is free.

Procedures for Paging the Clinical Providers

Call XXX-XXX-XXXX and then page ID XXXX. It will ask for your phone number. Enter your number and leave a voicemail with your name, phone number, and say that you are the doula on-call. Indicate the hours you’re on call. 

Mentor Program

Penny Lyon is the director of our mentor program. She pairs all new CVD doulas, whether new in their training or experienced, with an experienced CVD doula who will act as her mentor. The mentor program is intended to help new volunteer doulas get acquainted with our program, to give doulas in training a point person to help him or her through the learning curve, and to give experienced doulas an opportunity to make connections and to support other doulas.

Mentor Expectations

  • Mentor will meet with the mentee at least once in person.

  • Mentor will ask the new doula to email or call her to talk about initial births with Colorado Volunteer Doulas.

  • Mentor can accompany mentee doulas for one birth for a couple hours or can check the schedule to see if there is another doula the mentee could shadow. 

  • Mentor will help mentee make connections to other doulas.

  • Mentor will be a resource for readings, trainings, and next steps. 

Mentee Expectations

  • Mentee will meet with the mentor at least once in person.

  • Mentee will stay in touch with the mentor, at least for the first three births with Colorado Volunteer Doulas.

  • Mentee will let Penny know if he or she is not getting what he or she needs from the mentor.

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