PreWorkshop Guide – BDT

Thank you for registering for the next BWI Birth Doula Training from October 23 to 25, 2020.  As part of your registration, if you have not done so, please complete the Birth Doula Participant Info Form .

Please read through these instructions carefully to ensure you are ready for the workshop.  Thank-you!

We offer a pre-workshop Zoom video-call in the week before the class.
It will happen on October 20, 2020 at 8 pm. Please register here.

This is an opportunity to get to know each other and ask any questions you have about the training.  You can ask us questions, get a sneak-peak and learn more about the workshop logistics.

Before the workshop, please do:

  1. Arrange for a quiet space during workshop hours so you can do the training away from your everyday distractions and responsibilities.  This workshop requires focus!
  2. Ensure you have a video cam, either built-in or plugged into your computer. The quality of the picture doesn't matter but we want to see your face.
  3. Hospital Tour for Doulas. October 15 at 7:30 pm; please see the next section.
  4. Easing Labour Pain Class. October 4 at 1:30 pm; please see the section below.
  5. Complete an Ideal Birth form - your version of the kind of birth you'd love to have.
  6. Please make brief notes for the intro rounds.  Be prepared with your answers written down so we can fully listen to each other’s responses.  We’ll be asking:
    • Name, who do you care for (kids, pets, elderly parents etc)
    • Why do you want to be a doula? (1 sentence or just a few words)

Hospital Tour:

Doing a hospital tour is a required part of the doula training curriculum. The live-streamed hospital tour for doulas is October 15 at 7:30 pm. Please register for the tour and use the code BWITraining as this is included in your training fees. (Do not pay for the tour.) The tour takes one hour and please plan to stay online for an additional 45 minutes so we can answer your questions and teach you some doula-specific information.

If you are unable to attend the live-streamed event, then we can send you a recording after the session.

In addition to the Hospital Tour for Doulas, it will be helpful for you to do a tour of any other facilities in which you might work. It's not necessary to do that before the workshop.

Easing Labour Pain Class

This session is part of the curriculum and will teach you the hands-on skills required to comfort a labouring client, along with other important tips and skills.  Please register for the October 4th class and use the code BWITraining as this is included in your training fees. (Do not pay for the ELP class.) The class is 2 hours; please plan to stay online for an additional 30 minutes so we can answer your questions and teach you some doula-specific information.

If you are unable to attend the live-streamed event, then we can send you a recording after the session.

This is a class where you'll practise hands-on techniques. If you don't have someone to practise on, then you can use a couch cushion, big bolster, rolled up blankets or pillows - anything that's the approximate size of an adult female.

Karen's video, Making Your Own Bolster, will give you some ideas about this, using regular household items.

Before the workshop, please read:

The documents below open in Adobe Reader .   To download the document to your computer, click the down-arrow, just above the top & right of the document.  Then you can save it.

  1. Print, skim or read, and bring to the workshop:  Comfort in Labor: How you can help yourself to a normal satisfying birth by Penny Simkin.
  2. Read Penny Simkin's Just Another Day:  Women’s Long Term Perceptions of Their First Birth Experience.  NOTE: If reading research articles isn’t your thing, then just read the Abstract & Intro (all of pg1) and Discussion (bottom of pg 7).
  3. Please read Brenda Ueland's wise words on the Fine Art of Listening, a very important doula skill.
  4. Get a basic understanding of Reflective Listening, which will be our communication model for the weekend.  Please check out one or both:

Optional Preparation:

  1. If you'd like to get a head start on learning about birth and doulas, consider reading a book or watching a video from our Suggested Reading List.
  2. Consider getting started on your Resource-Referral List. The Resource-Referral List is for you and your clients.  We'll work on this through the workshop.
  3. If you'd like to dive in ahead of time to get a head start and deepen your knowledge, there's an optional BWI Birth Doula Pre-Workshop Guide available in 2 formats. It's a series of questions for you to become familiar with such things as terms, obstetrical practises, tools and resources. There's no need to "hand it in" but if you'd like feedback, we're willing to accept it as one file in either .pdf or Word.
  4. Find a web-site or two you trust for accurate pregnancy-related pregnancy and birth information.
  5. All new families at Regina General Hospital receive a copy of the RQHR Caring for Yourself and NewbornThis document is good to have no matter where you'll be working.  We recommend you print a copy for yourself.
    Note: Other SK regions don't seem to have have online booklets.  We recommend you ask for a hard-copy of materials being given to new families at your local hospital or public health office.
  6. Save and/or print out the LaLecheLeague Breastfeeding Sheets, a most valuable resource for doulas.

Things You'll Need for the Workshop:

  • Notebook/paper/clipboard and pens
  • Your food and drinks to stay nourished through the weekend
  • Birth/physio ball if you have one
  • Something soft to kneel on
  • A journal - this workshop often exposes beliefs, fears, and dreams – it’s nice to have an outlet


If you wish to pursue certification through Birth Ways International, this course is the first step.  (Certification is not a requirement to practise as a doula but is a valuable process, with a one-time fee.)  General certification requirements.

Date and Location:

Oct 23-25, 2020: Live-streamed from wherever you are! 

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations made 14 days or more in advance of the training have the option of a refund less a $75 administrative fee, or a credit for the same workshop for the full amount to be used within 1 year. Any cancellations received less than 14 days before the class will not be re-funded; however an alternate may attend or you may choose a future training within 1 year.