Doula Training Program Comes to Life through UCSF Collaboration

UCSF faculty members will be part of a project to develop a vocational training program designed to train previously incarcerated women to become birth doulas, to provide women’s health education for currently incarcerated women, and offer doula support for pregnant incarcerated women.

UCSF's Monica McLemore, FHCN, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and Carolyn Sufrin, MD, an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, are partnering with the Birth Justice Project co-founders Darcy Stanley, a nursing student at California State University, East Bay; Nicole Sata, a UCSF Master's Entry Program in Nursing student, and Monnie  Efross RN, MSN, founder and director of the volunteer doula program at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

A doula is experienced and professionally trained to provide continuous support to the birthing family. They work alongside the medical team which may include midwives, obstetricians, nurses and pediatricians in the birthing process. Their care represents a return to the tradition of woman-to-woman support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period.