Community Invited to Meet Volunteer Doulas at Holiday Tea

Posted: 11/29/2011

Taylor Mertz, a volunteer doula at Brookings Health System, demonstrates labor relaxation techniques to expectant mother Katy VanderWal.Brookings Health System invites the community to meet its volunteer doulas at a Holiday Tea, Thursday, Dec. 15 from 7 - 9 p.m. in hospital conference rooms A and B. Tours of New Beginnings Birth Center will also be given.

"Our volunteer doula program has been embraced by delivering parents since we implemented it in October," said Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Hillestad. "Our volunteer doulas are excellent women who provide very comforting and encouraging support to laboring moms. We're proud of our doulas and would like the community to get to know them."

A doula is a woman who provides continuous labor support during childbirth, works together with the mother and her partner to assist with emotional and physical support, and uses relaxation techniques such as positioning and massage. Doulas have statistically been proven to reduce the use of epidural anesthesia and the cesarean section rate.

The volunteer doula program at Brookings Health System provides a pool of doula candidates to assist fellow women in the delivery process. It was started in response to the recently held Birth Experience Focus Groups.

Qualifications to become a volunteer doula include completion of a Doulas of North America (DONA) training course or its equivalent. Certification is not required. Volunteer doulas must commit to one shift per month.

Expecting parents who would like to use doula services during the birth process may contact Doula Program Coordinator Emily Delbridge at

Brookings Health System provides full obstetrics services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home with the same physician they saw through their entire pregnancy.

For more information about Brookings Health System's full obstetrics services, go to

About Brookings Health System
Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at