1. Select the type of program that would be feasible with the hospital environment and sociocultural diversity of the community population.
2. Identify a person to coordinate the program.
3. Create or purchase record-keeping forms, policies, procedures, and practice guidelines that are OSHA and JCAHO appropriate.
4. If there are few or no doulas in the community to participate in the program, schedule a Doula Training Workshop. Prior to the workshop, the coordinator may wish to interview the training candidates or do a background check.
5. Concurrently with #4, schedule a Doula Presentation with hospital staff, local supporting physicians, midwives, lactation educators/consultants and childbirth educators. This will help to identify the roles of all involved and subdue any potential conflicts. This may be done with the coordinator of the program or outside experts. To further illustrate the positive effects of social support during pregnancy and birth, show "Special Women" and be certain to show the last segment that especially addresses concerns of professionals.
6. The coordinator should begin to examine marketing ideas ~ target markets include physicians and expectant parents.
7. The hospital should, upon completion of Doula Training Workshop and Certification, meet with the doulas who will be participating in the program and explain policies, procedures (including those of Latex allergies and Infant Abduction), practice guidelines, give a hospital tour, introduce the staff. If a an interview or background check has not been done, now would be a great opportunity.
8. Begin marketing the program: have a maternity open house/tour, have doulas attend childbirth education classes to promote the service/ have brochures available to all who attend the childbirth education classes, or have a film night "Introducing Doulas" and show the film "Special Women".
9. If there are still doulas who are in the process of certification (apprentices), fill their need for births for certification by identifying financially challenged women in the community who could benefit from doula care and pair them with apprentice doulas. Additionally, explore grants for high risk or other financially challenged women in the childbearing year.
10. Enjoy the benefits of having a Hospital Based Doula Program! Be certain to send evaluations to those who have used the doula services so that the coordinator can continue to improve services. Perhaps have monthly meetings with the doulas for information sharing, problem solving and any conflict resolution.