Doula Volunteer | UnityPoint Health - Sioux City, Iowa

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St. Luke's Birth Doula Volunteer Program

Our Volunteer Birth Doula Program, funded by St. Luke's Children's Miracle Network, exists because we believe every woman should feel supported during childbirth. Volunteer birth doulas offer support throughout labor to ensure the mother's birth plan wishes are respected, as well as to provide special relaxation techniques. Birth doulas provide non-medical emotional, physical, and informational support to moms and their partners. Our volunteer doulas provide a very important service to all laboring mothers.

Interested in Becoming a  St. Luke's Volunteer Birth Doula?

Step 1—Complete an Intent of Interest Volunteer Doula Application online.  Those with healthcare backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Step 2—Interview with the volunteer doula program coordinator to discuss your skills, experience, and availability.

Step 3—Complete St. Luke's volunteer application process, which includes a background check, health screening (includes review of immunization records) and new volunteer orientation.

Step 4—Attend a two day doula training workshop provided by the hospital at no charge (16 hours total training) and complete our Birth Center orientation.

For more information, please contact Volunteer Doula Program Coordinator, Amaris Garcia, at 712-279-3371 or email


What is a doula?

The word "doula" is an ancient Greek word that means "a woman who serves." Doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support to moms and their partners during the birth process. Women have been supporting women during labor for centuries, and modern studies  have shown a reduction in the number  of Cesarean sections, shortened labor,  less need for pain medication and greater satisfaction with the birth experience when a doula is present during labor. A doula provides continual emotional, physical, and informational support during labor. Doulas are non-medical. They are not midwives or doctors, so they do not give medical advice or care. They can however help facilitate good communication between the patient and the medical staff.

What kind of training do doulas have?

Volunteer doulas have completed an intense two-day professional labor support workshop, as well as additional orientation classes and hands-on learning.  In addition, St. Luke's doulas complete a background check and a very thorough health screening.

What is the difference between St. Luke's volunteer doula and  a private doula?

Our volunteer doulas are placed on call a limited number of days and are available on a first come, first served basis. Because we do not know what the demand will be for doulas on a particular day, we are never able to guarantee the availability of one, although we always strive to meet the request of our patients. Our doulas offer their services as a gift to our community without cost to our patients. Private doulas, on the other hand, are paid out of pocket and contracted independently. A private doula has the privilege of being able to guarantee their availability for a particular client and also meet with them in their home.