Anna Watts is the Founder of the Celebration of Birth Doula Academy. Anna is a Childbirth Educator, Doula Trainer and Counsellor, she has been working with pregnant and birthing women and families for over 28 years and established the Sacred Birth Doula Training in 2011. Guest teachers with a wide range of expertise in the area of women's health join Anna during the trainings and also provide student mentoring.
An academy is an association or organisation intended to protect and develop an art, science, language or to pass on skills in a particular area of expertise. The Celebration of Birth Doula Academy holds the vision for educating, protecting and developing sacred birthing and post-partum practices through the training of doulas to support women, babies and families during the transformational time of becoming parents.
The Celebration of Birth Doula Academy teaches from a holistic perspective, including educational, creative, experiential and spiritual. If you are looking for Doula Training that offers personal as well as professional learning and growth, with on-going mentoring and guidance as you launch your doula career please visit the following pages for more information - Sacred Birth Doula Training and Sacred Beginnings Post-natal Training.
The Role of a Doula
A Doula (Birth Support) accompanies women during pregnancy and the birth of their baby offering support for a safe and satisfying birth experience. She draws upon her childbirth knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and clear information to women and their partners.
The word ‘Doula’ (pronounced ‘doo-la’) is Greek meaning a woman’s maid or hand servant. More recently it has come to mean – a woman who supports the birthing mother during labour.
A Doula can provide reassurance and perspective to couples, make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. She will not make decisions for you, but help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Doulas, do NOT perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressures, fetal assessments, vaginal exams, etc. They are present to provide for your physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
A Doula’s role is to help you have a satisfying birth as you define it. The more you explore this in advance together, the better she will be able to fulfil this role.
Most Doulas are independent and self-employed. As your Doula, they are working for you, not your caregiver or the hospital/birth centre.
Choosing a Doula – it’s essential for you to feel completely comfortable with your Doula. Most Doulas offer an initial (obligation free) meeting to get to know each other – at this meeting you can ask her about her experience, her beliefs around birth and an outline of the services she provides. It’s a good idea to meet more than one Doula before making your decision.
Our Doula Directory lists ‘Celebration of Birth’ Doulas who have completed their training, as well as Trainee Doulas who offer their services in exchange for the opportunity to support at your birth.