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About Doulas

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The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG is an inclusive organisation, welcoming Doulas providing range of supports, including, but not limited to: Antenatal, Birth, Postpartum, Fertility, Abortion, Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Menopause, End of Life.

Doulas provide continuous support for the whole family through pregnancy, birth, in the early days of parenthood and at many other stages of life. Filling a role that new parents and families have always needed, we are there to listen, give confidence and evidence based resources in a non judgemental environment. Offering flexible, practical and emotional support in homes as well as in hospitals throughout the island of Ireland.

An ITPAD CLG doula will have completed ITPAD CLG approved training or alternative pathway modules for experienced doulas and birthworkers.  They will have agreed to adhere to ITPAD code of conduct and philosophy policies.

Our members are Garda vetted, have appropriate insurance, have completed Child First training and are recommended to be tax compliant.

The majority of doulas are employed directly by the parent or parents they are working with. A number of companies offer doula services through their Employee Wellness programmes, for their employees to avail of doula support and their employer pays for the services. The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG also runs the Doula Hardship Fund which provides free birth or postnatal doula support to those in greater need and who cannot afford to access doula support.

A wide variety of women, parents and families from different communities, with different needs, and planning all kinds of birth, hire doulas. We work with new parents who make a diverse range of parenting choices and believe there is a doula out there for everyone.

While doulas are not there to change outcomes there is evidence that having a birth or postnatal doula brings a number of tangible benefits. From reducing intervention rates, shortening labour and improving the condition of babies at birth.

Research shows that no matter where or how a person gives birth, doulas help make that experience a more positive one. A doula provides physical and emotional support during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Families can face various challenges during these times.

Research studies have shown that continuous support from doulas during childbirth might be associated with:

  • A decreased use of pain relief medication during labor

  • A decreased incidence of C-sections

  • A decrease in the length of labor

  • A decrease in negative childbirth experiences

Postpartum doulas are trained to understand what new babies – and new parents – truly need. 

Life with a new baby or babies doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Our postpartum doulas help families settle in and feel supported in their parenting choices. Studies show that this kind of support can help in the following ways:

  • Help reduce postpartum mood disorders

  • Improve breastfeeding success


How much do doulas cost?

Doulas registered with ITPAD are self-employed and clients pay them directly.  How much a doula charges will vary depending on the area they work in, their level of experience, what they include in the fee and what they feel their service is worth.  In addition some doulas may volunteer through various projects including the Doula Hardship Fund.

Doula Assocation of Ireland recommends parents contact individual doulas and discuss their package and fees directly.


Birth doulas

An ITPAD recognised birth doula usually charges a fixed price for a birth doula support package which is fully explained and agreed at time of booking. Exactly what this includes will vary from doula to doula. Expenses and mileage may be included in this package fee or may be invoiced later.

A deposit (retainer fee) is usually required on booking with a birth doula.

Postpartum doulas

An ITPAD postnatal doula usually charges an hourly rate. They may have a minimum number of hours for booking, and/or a minimum number of hours (e.g. 3 hours) that they will offer per. Expenses and mileage may be included or may be additional.  Charges should be fully explained and agreed at time of booking.

A deposit (retainer fee) may be required on booking with a postnatal doula.

Find a doula near you

Why choose an Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG doula?


A member of ITPAD:

  • Has completed an ITPAD Approved course which follows the ITPAD core curriculum.  Or have joined ITPAD as an experienced doula or birth worker and completed ITPAD alternate pathway workshops.

  • Is Garda vetted

  • Has completed the Tusla Children First course

  • Is continually learning and developing through the membership community and support network of ITPAD

  • Is recommended to have appropriate insurance and to provide clients with a clear, written agreement.

  • Is recommended to be tax compliant

  • Is committed to abiding by ITPAD policies and procedures and Code of Conduct.

  • Furthermore your confidentiality is protected by the Social Media Guidelines and safeguarding policies to protect you and your doula.


ITPAD is a trade and professional membership organisation, and we trust that the information our doulas provide us with is truthful. However if we are made aware of any circumstance which we consider would preclude a member working with your family or in the presence of children, we will rescind membership immediately. Please ask your doula for references.

ITPAD also has a complaints and feedback procedure if, for some reason, you are not happy with the service from your doula.

All our members are independent doulas and services provided are subject to individual terms of contract between the doula and the 2nd party. The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG does not accept any responsibility for the services provided by the Doulas listed on this website. 

Help with hiring a doula

How to find a doula

You can do a search based on your area on our Find a doula page. You will then be presented with an alphabeticized list of doulas who are happy to work in that particular area. We recommend you then contact some doulas by email or telephone.

Many doulas happily travel to clients and, particularly in more rural areas, it is not uncommon for doulas to consider a 25 mile (or sometimes even longer) distance to a client perfectly acceptable.

How to choose a doula

The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG members have come to be doulas through a variety of journeys, but all are passionate about their work. The most important thing to consider when employing a doula is “Do I/we like this doula? Can I/we spend time with them? Can I/we trust them?”

You will find there are as many different doulas as there are people. Feel free to ask around and interview several doulas (we suggest first by phone or video chat and then face-to-face). If it makes you feel more comfortable, ask a doula for references from previous clients. The right doula for you will be someone who makes you feel comfortable, shows they care and is genuinely invested in supporting you. Their doula experience or ability to provide other services are secondary to the most important part of the relationship: do you ‘click’?


Help with affording a doula

If you would like to hire a doula, but don’t think you can afford it, it may still be possible!

You may wish to consider the option of asking for ITPAD gift vouchers as part of presents to offset some of the cost of hiring a doula. Your employer, or your partner’s employer may be interested in signing up to our Employee Wellnesss Programme Initiative.

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