• Overview - 2018/2019

    If you have a passion for accompanying individuals and families through their reproductive journey, equipping and supporting them to access information and resources to make the best choices for their own care, a rewarding career as a doula may be the perfect fit for you.

    Doulas are unregulated health care professionals whose role involves advocacy, education, counselling, collaboration and negotiation to provide physical, emotional and informational support to individuals and families across the full spectrum of their reproductive choices.

    Fanshawe's innovative certificate program is the first of its kind in Ontario. Using an evidence-informed and social justice approach, the program emphasizes the role of the doula in the health care community and prepares students for a career providing families with information and support across their reproductive journey.

    Students will develop the specialized knowledge, skills and experience necessary for ethical, culturally safe, client-centred doula practice.

    As part of the program, students receive valuable hands-on experience through two practicum courses where they are introduced to the complex, multi-dimensional world of the health care system, all of which prepares them to run a business, including entrepreneurship, sales and marketing, and personal financial management.

    For graduates interested in continuing their education in health care, Fanshawe's Doula Studies program provides students with the recommended year of post-secondary studies.

  • Admission Requirements - 2018/2019

    OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
    University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
    Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
    Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
    Mature applicant with appropriate preparation

    English Language Requirements

    Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

    • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements 
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test (PBT), or 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
    • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years 
    • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
    • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
    • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
    • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

    Recommended Academic Preparation

    • Any Grade 12 English (C), (U), or (O)
    • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
    • Grade 11 Health Care (C) OR Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)

    Recommended Personal Preparation

    • Knowledge of and interest in working with pregnant people, women, children and families
    • Development of personal responsibility and emotional maturity by participating in social organizations interested in helping people
    • Willingness to collaborate with others in the delivery of family-centred maternity care in collaboration with members of the health care team
    • Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contribution of others
    • Ability to effectively communicate in conversational English

    Applicant Selection Criteria

    Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
    1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
    2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
    3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

    Post-Admission Requirements

    The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive. Please refer to www.fanshawec.ca/preplacement for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

    • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate - Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (HCP) in accordance with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Canadian Guidelines for CPR
    • Evidence of Good Health (Immunizations are required for certain clinical placement settings)
    • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
    • Placement Agreement
    • Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement
    • Travel to practicum placements or site visits will be required
  • Courses

    Doula Studies-2018/2019

    Level 1
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    HLTH-1230Historical Context-Reproductive Culture3
    This course introduces students to the historical, cultural and situational factors influencing reproduction locally and around the world. Students will examine from multiple perspectives the influences and consequences of the medicalization of birth on maternal and newborn outcomes. Course content will also critically reflect on the emergence of the professional doula and the regulation of midwifery care within North America.
    HLTH-1231Anatomy & Physiology of Reproduction3
    This course introduces basic anatomical and physiological concepts related to reproduction. Topics will include embryology, anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, immunology and basic medical terminology.
    HLTH-1232Preparing for Birth 13
    This course examines pregnancy and the process of labour and birth for the labouring person, partner and doula. Students begin to learn how to accompany families throughout pregnancy, labour and birth.
    HLTH-1233Postpartum 13
    This course focuses on identifying the needs of new families as they transition into the postpartum period. Cultural context of newborn care and socio environmental space of the family are examined. Skills, strategies and resources to become responsive to the emerging needs of families in transition are developed.
    HLTH-1234Self & Others3
    This course focuses on understanding interpersonal relationships in order to effectively navigate the complex and multidimensional world of the health care system. Students critically explore their personal beliefs, values and assumptions, about themselves as part of a family, culture and different communities. This course enhances interpersonal communication as the learner becomes more self-reflective, learning to nurture supportive relationships while setting professional boundaries.
    WRIT-1048Reason & Writing 1 for Health Sciences3
    This course will introduce health sciences students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
    HLTH-1236Practicum 13
    First term practicum enables students to develop an understanding of breadth and depth of the role of the doula. Throughout the course, students are assigned different observational and practical experiences. They have opportunities to attend community placements with a variety of practitioners who engage with families during the perinatal period. They begin to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to the practical environment. Placements are comprised of a combination of in home, institution, community, classroom and lab based experiences.

    Level 2
    Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
    HLTH-1235Critical Appraisal of Research3
    This course prepares students to become critical consumers of information and research. Students are introduced to ways of knowing and questioning, including traditional wisdom and empirical evidence related to research. Strengths and limitations of research designs will be discussed as well as critical appraisal of research pertinent to doula practice. Students will have opportunities to explore how doulas participate in research as part of their ongoing commitment to developing knowledge within doula practice.
    HLTH-5020Birth Topics-Adv2.5
    This course prepares student to identify, understand, analyze and discuss various medical and pharmaceutical interventions, as well as alternatives, available during pregnancy, labour, and birth. Students will practice the skills required to synthesize and translate this knowledge to their clients.
    HLTH-1238Diagnostics, Informatics & Technology3
    This course will extend students' knowledge, skills and confidence with technology commonly used to assess and share health information related to reproduction. Students will explore the professional application of information technology within the doula's scope professional practice.
    HLTH-5021Postpartum Topics-Adv3
    This course focuses on postpartum adjustment and the spectrum of postpartum outcomes. Students explore postpartum topics including infant feeding decisions, post-abortion support, loss and grief, mental wellness and nutrition. Students apply critical appraisal skills regarding information sourcing for client support and community referrals.
    BUSI-1121Small Business Creation3
    Students will gain the principal skills to successfully start and manage a small business. Students will also gain a basic understanding of the activities and demands associated with running a small business, such as market research, legal issues, managing risk, managing people, leadership, operations management and growing a small business. Students learn problem solving and decision-making skills related to a small business. The course culminates with the students creating and presenting their business plan.
    HLTH-1240Supporting Transitions3
    A doula's scope of practice within the context of supporting the transitions of people from conception through pregnancy to postpartum is explored in this course. Taking a closer look at the complexity of reproduction in contemporary society, students examine how conception changes family dynamics. The transition to the role of doula is undertaken and explored.
    HLTH-1241Practicum 26.7
    Second term practicum enables students to deepen their understanding of the breadth and depth of the doula's role. Students are assigned different observational and practical experiences. They have opportunities to attend community placements with a variety of practitioners who engage with families during the perinatal period. They continue to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to the practical environment. Placements are comprised of a combination of in home, institution, community, classroom and lab based experiences.

    Program Residency
    Students Must Complete a Minimum of 12 credits in this
    program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
    requirement and graduate from this program

  • Careers - 2018/2019

    Career Opportunities

    Doulas are professionals who provide non-medical care and support to families across the reproductive cycle. Fanshawe's one-year innovative certificate program provides in-depth training that will provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge, practical skills, and valuable field placements to prepare them to have a rewarding career helping families across their reproductive journey.
    Most Doulas are self-employed, and graduates of this program will be prepared to develop and manage their own business. Given the comprehensive nature of the program, graduates will be able to work as a full-spectrum Doula, Birth Doula and a Postpartum Doula. Graduates will also be prepared to work in clinics, health units, social service and community centres providing childbirth education workshops, post-natal care workshops and breastfeeding clinics.

  • More Information - 2018/2019

    A One-Year Ontario College Certificate Program
    Program Code: DLA1
    Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
    September Admission
    15 week terms
    Academic Calendars available at www.fanshawec.ca/academicdates


    School of Nursing: 519-452-4220

    Program Description

    This program emphasizes the dynamic role of the Doula in the health care community to prepare students for a rewarding career collaborating with the birth team to provide families with information and support for a healthy pregnancy, a safe and satisfying childbirth experience and a comfortable postpartum period. The curriculum captures the specialized knowledge, skills and experience that Doulas require relating to anatomy, physiology, and the emotional, psychological and cultural aspects of birth. Students are also introduced to business management/entrepreneurship concepts and strategies including business ethics and contracts, marketing and sales techniques and personal financial management.
    Learning Outcomes 
    1. Assist with the delivery of family-centred maternity care in collaboration with members of the health care team.
    2. Examine the historical, political, and cultural aspects of the provision of maternity care both locally and globally and identify how they shape the experiences of contemporary mothering to meet the needs of clients.
    3. Apply knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of a woman during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum to address the concerns and needs of clients.
    4.  Provide evidence-informed physical, emotional, physiological, and psychosexual support to enhance the comfort, health, and well-being of individuals and families as they negotiate the various transitions associated with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
    5. Provide families with community and online resources related to the childbearing years to empower clients to make evidence-informed choices regarding pregnancy and birth options and newborn care, including infant and newborn nutrition.
    6. Describe diagnostic testing procedures and medical interventions routinely used during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period, and recognize the normal ranges and parameters for those test results.
    7. Identify early signs of maternal physical and mental health concerns, and refer clients to appropriate community resources in a timely manner.
    8. Foster professional relationships with clients, family members, caregivers, and other doulas.
    9. Establish and maintain a professional doula business in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines.
    10. Identify and support clients' needs based on the theories of diverse social determinants of health, cultural humility, and intersectionality and the principle of harm reduction.

    Program Pathways

    For information about Program Pathways visit www.fanshawec.ca/programpathways.
    • Graduates of the Doula Studies program may be interested in a Midwifery Education Program (Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) in Midwifery).
    • The Doula Studies Certificate program will provide students interested in pursuing a career in a health profession with the recommended year of post-secondary studies.
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