The Celebration of Birth Doula Academy was founded by Anna Watts, Childbirth Educator, Doula Trainer and Counsellor, she has been working with pregnant and birthing women and families for over 30 years and established the Sacred Birth Doula Training in 2011; followed by the Sacred Beginnings Postnatal Doula Training. Guest teachers with a wide range of expertise in the area of women’s health join Anna during the trainings and also provide student mentoring.
An academy is an association or organisation intended to protect and develop an art, science, language or to pass on skills in a particular area of expertise. The Celebration of Birth Doula Academy holds the vision for educating, protecting and developing sacred birthing and post-partum practices through the training of doulas to support women, babies and families during the transformational time of becoming parents.
The Celebration of Birth Doula Academy teaches from a holistic perspective, including educational, creative, experiential and spiritual. If you are looking for Doula Training that offers personal as well as professional learning and growth, with on-going mentoring and guidance as you launch your doula career please visit the following pages for more information – Sacred Birth Doula Training and Sacred Beginnings Post-natal Training. You can also view feedback from students here – Doula Feedback.
Anna Watts is the primary teacher for all the training courses offered by the Academy. From time to time she is joined by guest teachers, specialists in the area of women’s health.
Anna Watts, Founder of Celebration of Birth – Anna is affectionately known as the ‘Wise Woman of Doulas’ or ‘Mama Doula’. She believes in honouring and celebrating birth as a rite of passage for mother, father and baby, supporting empowered birth choices and strengthening the spiritual connection at this powerful time of transformation. As a Doula Trainer, Anna encourages the students to gain both practical knowledge and spiritual wisdom through personal exloration and growth. Her capacity to create the space for holistic learning in a supportive environment weaves through all the Celebration of Birth courses, offering essential face-to-face experiential processes to underpin the educational aspects of training. Anna is a passionate traveller and has spent time teaching, learning and assisting in birth communities around the world. Sharing women’s wisdom with a diverse range of birth professionals has greatly enhanced her knowledge of birth and the way she passes on holistic skills to both pregnant women and doulas alike.
Joanna Dadd, Doula Mentor, Counsellor & Birthkeeper – Joanna has worked as a Birthkeeper for over 30 years. She completed studies as a midwife in the UK in 1984, followed by training as an Active Birth Yoga and Childbirth Educator with Janet Balaskas. Joanna’s ongoing passion and calling to support women through all life transitions led her to the Four Seasons Journey with the School of Shamanic Womancraft in 2011, she is now in her second year of teacher apprenticeship with the school. A gentle warrior championing physiological birth, Joanna supports women to claim their birth rights through informed choice and inherent body wisdom. As a Doula Mentor, she offers a wealth of birth wisdom, kindfulness, understanding, deep listening skills, with the medicine of an earthy warmth and humour.
Rosie Matheson, Doula, Mentor, Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher – Rosie is a passionate women’s health and wellbeing educator, qualified doula, mother, Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, and a senior Bliss Baby Yoga facilitator. Her many offerings include classes, workshops, and teacher training courses in yoga for fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Rosie has been a doula for over 10 years and teaches sessions on Active Birth, Positions for Labour and shares her valuable experience in the Role of a Doula.
Emma Grant, Pre-natal & Post-natal Yoga Teacher – Emma has many years experience of teaching pregnant women and trainee yoga teachers. The founder of Red Tent Yoga, she is passionate about supporting women to create the most empowered birth possible. Emma holds the space to nurture pregnant and new mothers, she believes “when a woman allows herself to be nurtured, her body and mind are revived and her energy and spirit is restored”. Emma has completed the Sacred Birth Doula Training and teaches the sessions on Active Birth and Positions for Labour.
Dr Oscar Serrallach, Author of The Postnatal Depletion Cure, is a valued guest presenter on the Postnatal Doula training (when held in Byron Bay). Dr Oscar has coined the term ‘post-natal depletion’ and considers this may last “up to a decade” following childbirth. He will share insights for recognising and supporting the mother through post-natal challenges and returning to wellness. More information about Dr Oscar Serrallach’s work and The Postnatal Depletion Cure can be found on his website.
The Role of a Doula
A Doula (Birth Support) accompanies women during pregnancy and the birth of their baby offering support for a safe and satisfying birth experience. She draws upon her childbirth knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and clear information to women and their partners.
The word ‘Doula’ (pronounced ‘doo-la’) is Greek meaning a woman’s maid or hand servant. More recently it has come to mean – a woman who supports the birthing mother during labour.
A Doula can provide reassurance and perspective to couples, make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. She will not make decisions for you, but help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Doulas, do NOT perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressures, fetal assessments, vaginal exams, etc. They are present to provide for your physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
A Doula’s role is to help you have a satisfying birth as you define it. The more you explore this in advance together, the better she will be able to fulfil this role.
Most Doulas are independent and self-employed. As your Doula, they are working for you, not your caregiver or the hospital/birth centre.
Choosing a Doula – it’s essential for you to feel completely comfortable with your Doula. Most Doulas offer an initial (obligation free) meeting to get to know each other – at this meeting you can ask her about her experience, her beliefs around birth and an outline of the services she provides. It’s a good idea to meet more than one Doula before making your decision.
Our Doula Directory lists ‘Celebration of Birth’ Doulas who have completed their training, as well as Trainee Doulas who offer their services in exchange for the opportunity to support at your birth.