Birth Doula Workshop Maui

Interview with Birth Doula Pioneer Janine Maitri (Part one)

What’s the difference between a Doula and a Midwife?
A Midwife does clinical care and a Doula does non-medical support and care. You do not choose a doula over a midwife or an OBGYN. The way I see it, our culture lacks extended family that is comfortable with childbirth. We’re not in a tribal situation anymore and so we’ve brought in the Doula profession to fill that void.

What do you love about being a Birth Doula?
I love being in a professional position where I can help shift the paradigm around childbirth in our fear-based culture. Our norm is known as the “medical management” approach to birth, which is full of conditioning that causes a lot of trauma for mothers, babies and families. With this perspective, birth is often seen as “an accident waiting to happen”. As Doulas, we are in a pivotal position for our communities and culture, which really has a ripple effect into the rest of the world. I love empowering women and families, teaching them about the truth of childbirth as a beautiful, sacred experience.

The Doula profession is unregulated so why do you recommend becoming certified?
In recent years, more families have started looking for trained Doulas. Certification with DONA helps us get professional recognition in the childbirth field world-wide. There are also more and more hospital based Doula programs, most of which require DONA certification. For the sustainability of this important profession, our trainings are approved through DONA International, which I’ve been working with for over 20 years.

What is required for Certification with DONA International?
My 3-day intensive workshop, gives you the “Childbirth Education” and the “Birth Doula Training” requirements. In addition, in order to complete your certification with DONA International, you must take a 3-hour approved Lactation class, attend three births as primary labor support (Doula), read required books, create a resource list in your community, and write an essay. It takes the average Doula about 6 months to get certification, however you have 4 years to complete your requirements after you attend my training and 2 years after you order your DONA certification packet. The packet is needed before you can start counting attended births towards certification. My students leave the training as confident Doulas. If you are called to assist in childbirth, we hope you will join us!

Janine Maitri has been in the doula profession for 35 years, and is coming to Maui to teach her Training (Nov. 3-5) and facilitate the Maui Doula Retreat (Nov. 6-10). If you’re interested in being apart of either, please contact Guri at (808)419-1661 or

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Guri Bigham is a Maui mama devoted to living in harmony with earth in the midst of the climate crisis. She's a writer, recipe developer, locavore, zero-waste advocate, and co-author of Heart of Raw Food ( Instagram


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