The Doula Project is an New York City-based 501(c)(3) organization that provides free compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to people across the spectrum of pregnancy.
We are a volunteer-run, collectively led organization of over fifty full-spectrum doulas. Our doulas have backgrounds as social justice activists, teachers, childbirth educators, birth doulas, social workers, and reproductive health professionals. We partner with Planned Parenthood Brooklyn, Planned Parenthood Bronx, several public hospitals, and other service providers to provide full-spectrum doula support to a diverse body of clients.
If you’re interested in training as a doula with our collective, please check out our 2019 volunteer application here.
The Doula Project works to create a society in which all pregnant people have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancies and the ability to make healthy decisions for themselves, whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion.
All pregnant people should have access to continuous, non-judgmental emotional, physical, and informational support.
All pregnant people should be trusted to make choices that are best for them.
All pregnant people should have their experiences and the memories of those experiences honored.
All pregnant people should be safe and have access to exceptional health care.
Clinics, hospitals, organizations, and individuals who work with pregnant people should be respected and protected.
The Doula Project was initially coordinated in 2007 by three founding members, who worked with several volunteer trained abortion and birth doulas. Within its first year and a half The Doula Project served over 1,000 people choosing abortion or experiencing fetal loss in the New York City area. While the Project originally intended to center on abortion, the presence of those who came to abortion clinics because of miscarriage and lethal fetal anomaly began a shift in the way we approached the project. Likewise, as our trained birth doulas began to work with birth mothers through our partnership with the pro-choice adoption agency Spence-Chapin (and later, directly through our website), it became less and less appropriate to consider ourselves exclusively “abortion doulas.”
In early 2009, we changed our name to The Doula Project and adjusted our mission, vision, values, and constituent base. We've expanded our leadership to a collective Leadership Circle, and over 50 active full-spectrum doulas work with the Project. We've developed a unique, proprietary training specific to the work we do: doulas who go through our training come away with a thorough understanding of abortion procedures and learn a broad palette of support skills.
Our ongoing partnerships with clinics and hospitals allow us to provide an wholly innovative service model. Traditional doula services are often inaccessible to the people who need them most: low-income people and people without existing support structures. By partnering directly with healthcare providers, we become part of the clinic structure for both clients and healthcare service providers, seamlessly integrating support into our clients' experiences regardless of the outcome of their pregnancy.
In 2010, we expanded our services to other New York City clinics and public hospitals and launched our Training and Networking Circle for doulas working across the spectrum of pregnancy around the country. In 2013, we supported approximately 3,500 people choosing abortion or experiencing fetal loss and 60 birth clients. We've worked with dozens of other full-spectrum projects, presenting our comprehensive trainings, supporting organizational development, and building a larger community of full-spectrum service providers. We're continuing to grow by partnering with new locations in the New York City area, expanding our birth doula services, and developing our own birth doula training tailored specifically to the clients we serve. Since we were founded in 2007, we've supported hundreds of birth clients and over ten thousand people through abortion and fetal loss.