1 noun : a person who actively works to end intolerance, educate others, and support social equity for a marginalized group. 2 verb : to actively support or plea in favor of a particular cause, the action of working to end intolerance or educate others.
Are Doulas needed during Covid? Aren't hospitals restricting visitors during birth?
Though most hospitals are imposing restrictions on visitors during this pandemic, Doulas are needed now, more than ever. Great innovation is being used at this time to deliver the support and advocacy birthers need, including virtual Doula support, extensive prenatal education, and planning and pivots, such as transferring to homebirth.
You are needed.
OUR MISSION is to organize and activate a radically inclusive community of doulas and birthkeepers to provide full spectrum C.A.R.E. to all. Cornerstone doulas and birthkeepers champion equitable access to safe, supported and dignified care for all communities throughout the reproductive lifespan. Our collective C.A.R.E. is focused on closing gaps in disparate maternal and infant health outcomes, increasing reproductive health equity and creating positive change in all reproductive health outcomes — and as a result, our society at large.
Cornerstone Doulas & Birthkeepers C.A.R.E.
C: Care. Connection. Community.
A: Authenticity. Access. Advocacy.
R: Relevant. Reliable. Reputable.
E: Excellence. Expertise. Equity
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What if I haven't given birth, myself? Can I still be a Doula?
Absolutely, yes. Doulas who haven't given birth have the benefit of being able to be fully present for their clients - and this is a selling point: You don't have to line up childcare, and you won't be bringing your own personal experiences into the birth space. Further, we've all experienced birth - we have all been born; and this is something that all who have the call to birthwork can tap into. We can also tap into our own transformative experiences when supporting our clients who are going through their transformation and ceremony through birth.
Being a parent or not being a parent - you are needed in this work.
Benefits of taking our training online:
- Go at your own pace.
- Take your time to process and digest the information and tools.
- Bi-weekly live Q&A sessions with your course trainers
- Support and community built into the program
- Comprehensive and inclusive curriculum rooted in birth, social and reproductive justice frameworks and advocacy
- You'll also receive our exclusive Rights Informed Birth Advocate Certification when you complete this training.
"I couldn't be more grateful to have found the incredible training and community that is Cornerstone. As a Doula in training I feel confident in my ability to support birthing people through labor, birth, postpartum and beyond because of this organization.
Nickie, Juli, and Jazz have been an absolute dream to learn from. Their knowledge is deep, their dedication to informed choice, inclusion and access are the foundation of everything they do, create and teach. I am proud to be a Cornerstone Doula and proud to be a part of the community they have and continue to build."
- Stella C., Stella Rose Birth & Health
I'm not a business person. How can I jump into working for myself?
This is something that we can help you with. Coming soon is a full online course: Business Essentials: Birthing Your Business, taught by the illustrious Queen Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste: Doula, dancer and business coach. Her course provides you with the tools to build a successful birth business, without losing the heart and soul of the work.
Stay tuned for this amazing offering!
In this course, you will gain the knowledge, support, confidence and skills to begin your Labor & Birth Doula practice. To be successful and sustainable as a Doula, you must start with a solid foundation to hold your practice as it grows and expands. Throughout this fifteen module course with over 23 hours of video lecture, we will first help build this foundation for you, then we will delve deep into incredibly important issues such as birth justice, equity, trauma informed care, boundaries, self care and the emotional, psychosocial, intersectional and practical aspects of doula work. You will learn through many different activities: Video lecture modules, online research, short writing assignments, supplemental videos and handouts, and quizzes. Plus, you'll have access to weekly drop-in Q&A sessions with your trainers, where you can have all your questions answered and connect with other students who are going through online Doula Training.
This intensive Labor and Birth Doula Training Workshop gives you, the aspiring birth worker everything you'll need to build a sustainable, equitable, ethical and effective birth practice. We don't stop there: you have direct access to your trainers for mentoring and support post-training. We build community and we are here for YOU. There are no certification fees, no hidden fees and your certification (if you choose to be certified) is for life.
Cornerstone Labor & Birth Doulas are internationally recognized as leaders in birth justice and advocacy.
Cornerstone Doulas provide continuous unbiased, client-centered support throughout the reproductive lifespan. This support focuses on the whole person, family and community and encompasses emotional, physical, psychosocial, and educational support techniques. Cornerstone doulas employ individualized supportive communication, culturally responsive care, hands-on therapeutic techniques and an equitable approach with all clients.
Are there any age limits to Doula work?
Absolutely not -- age is nothing but a number. We've trained folks from their teens to their 70's. Birthwork is intergenerational work - this is something that we all engage in together, as a community. When Nickie started doing Doula work, she was 19 years old. When Juli started, she was in her 40's. We have found that all birthers need something specific, and the more diverse our community is, the better.
Frequently Asked Questions
"Thank you so very much Cornerstone Doula! I highly recommend the training courses this professional, informed, and socially progressive company offers. I AM A BLACK WOMAN AND MY DIFFERENCE WAS VALUED ALONG WITH MY SIMILARITIES APPRECIATED; as an African American woman in this training I was very thankful that the real disparities directly related to race with birthing people was not brushed under the rug! THANK YOU!!!!!! I know that I have a team of skilled mentors behind me and I feel so empowered with knowledge due to this team of women, doula-midwife collective. Juli and Nickie are a fluid mother daughter team that are proof in and of itself of the gift of birth work. Juli's energy was one that made me want to be wrapped in her touch and Nickie's breakdown of the scientific aspects laced me with this net of safety, I feel so secure and prepared to hold space and advocate for the privilege journey of working with birthing people. I cannot say enough about this very qualified team. The much needed business course that has lit the fire, heating up the Value of birthwork was enlightening thank you so much Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste your gift of teaching how to value and acknowledge my gifts was so refreshing and I am grateful for your presence with this wonderful training course. Cornerstone doula training is by far more than I expected. I want more! Jazz I'm coming for that self care course. Forever a student to these professional sharers and guides. Thank you !....Go get trained by Cornerstone!" - Glynnyale, S., Cornerstone Doula
I haven't had success in college settings. How will I do in your course?
Our Doula Training courses are written to meet the needs of all educational backgrounds and learning styles. These trainings are not written at college level, though they will inspire you, no matter what your learning styles and levels are. Closed captions are coming soon, as well -- some of our modules are already equipped with them, but all modules will be captioned in the next four weeks.
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She/her. Nickie Tilsner is a doula, childbirth educator, nursing student, harm reduction practitioner and crisis intervention counselor with over 18 years experience in birth work. As the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Cornerstone Doula Trainings, Nickie has trained thousands of birth workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA since 2006. Nickie has a strong commitment to social, birth & reproductive justice and focuses her trainings, as well as her own education and daily learning on social justice frameworks through an intersectional lens. She is so very honored to be sharing all of this absolutely essential information, support and skill to new birth workers, and views birth work as a revolutionary world changing action. Nickie brings to her trainings a broad spectrum of knowledge and a deep devotion to helping pregnant people, their partners, babies and communities have the most dignified, respected and joyful beginnings in their new lives together.
Juli Tilsner, LM, CPM:
She/her. Juli Tilsner is a California licensed Midwife, Certified Professional Midwife and the Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of Cornerstone Doula Trainings. Juli is also the Co-author of RE:BIRTH Your Birth Informed. Respected. Empowered and the Co-founder of RE:BIRTH Childbirth Education.
Juli’s passion, path and practice in the birth world has shown itself to be a continually evolving process of personal, professional and political growth. Coming from challenging beginnings, Juli considers those challenges to be the gifts that have made her the teacher and mentor she is and continues to be for so many. Juli has a passion for birth justice, trauma prevention and resolution and she continues her own work of healing intergenerational trauma for herself and her family in her daily life. Juli is proud to bring this passion and vision into her work as an activist, healer, educator, leader and mentor.
She/her. Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste, AKA The Dancing Doula, is: a mother, teacher, healer, dancer, birthkeeper, trainer, mentor, childbirth educator, business coach, natural fertility specialist, and womb healing practitioner. Her journey as a birthworker began at the tender age of 10 years old when she had the honor of being the junior birth coach for her Mom, then pregnant with her sister. This experience was the beginning of a life purpose to serve people and their babies along their birth and reproductive journeys. Jazz-Ylaine is Co-Owner and Executive Director of Aum Golden Health, a full service birth support agency based in Oakland, CA, which provides a village (team) model of care for the full spectrum of reproductive health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management with minors in finance and international business from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has been an entrepreneur and business owner since 2004. In 2018 while pregnant with her daughter, Jazz-Ylaine created Dance Baby Down™, a pregnancy dance movement workshop and class series integrating: meditation, gentle movement, upbeat dancing through labor positions, affirmations and community building. She has trained five Dance Baby Down™ Instructors between 2018 - 19 and looks forward to training many more in the upcoming years. Jazz-Ylaine is multilingual, speaking Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French, with life and work experiences in Spain, China, Mexico and Brazil. She believes that birth is sacred, and an incredible rite of passage. Jazz-Ylaine is dedicated to honoring this sacred rite of passage through: direct support, community education and outreach, and the professional training of doulas, birthkeepers and Dance Baby Down™ instructors.
Gingi Allen, LM
Owner of The Art of Mothering, Birth Doula & Postpartum Healing Specialist, Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife.
My love for midwifery care began about 16 years ago after I took my first childbirth education course. As a fresh undergraduate in Environmental Planning, Sociology & History, I was able to connect my knowledge of healthy environmental practices with the impact that birth health has on the whole of society. It was after the birth of my first child in 2002 that I saw everything birth and was called to support the mama-baby unit and healing of empowering women & families.
Soon I became an educator, supporting hundreds of families in their choices around a healthy pregnancy, empowered birth, and nourished postpartum, as well as womb wellness. Along the way, I studied many holistic healing and midwifery techniques and now have integrated them well into my doula & midwifery practice. During my midwifery schooling and training, I chose to extend my program to get the fullest out of my training (at home birth and birth centers), while raising my two sons as a single mother. My road in birth work and midwifery was raw, challenging, and beautiful much like the work of being a mother. It is an honor to support new life into this world and I look forward to developing intimacy, trust, and a deep understanding with the families I support.
Laura Cox, CLEC
For over 7 years, Laura Cox has been providing lactation education and counseling to the Bay Area community. She has the distinct honor of teaching lactation support to Cornerstone Doulas and she also provides training and support to Doulas through the Oakland Better Birth Foundation, where she is also a board member. Laura is a lactation education to the ABSN, BSN, ELMSN students at Samuel Merritt University, and has been invited to teach the medical students at Touro University in Vallejo, CA. She is also part of an advisory group through the IBCLE, which is creating a new certification which ultimately will be providing an internationally recognized discipline of lactation support outside the IBCLC. through education, Laura is trying to change the way we support people on their lactation journey.