Free Handouts for Childbirth Educators and Doulas

Pregnant woman on laptop

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Being a childbirth educator or doula means that you have a lot of information to share in a very short time period typically. While you do have face to face interactions, it can be important to reinforce that with written or printed materials. They can also be used to touch on subjects that perhaps you do not go into depth about in class but have a desire to still share the information.

There are a lot of places to find free handouts to share with your students and clients. Here are some of the ones that I have gathered.

Healthy Birth Practices

These are written by Lamaze International and thoroughly researched. These six practices come with companion videos as well. They have an introduction to the care practices, Let Labor Begin on Its Own, Walk, Move Around, and Change Positions Throughout Labor, Bring a Loved One, Friend, or Doula for Continuous Support, Avoid Interventions That Are Not Medically Necessary, Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back, and Follow Your Body's Urges to Push, and Keep Your Baby With You - It's Best for You, Your Baby, and Breastfeeding. These also make nice handouts for doing professional presentations to medical staff. There are also other handouts available on a variety of topics from birth planning to choosing a childbirth class.

Toolkit to Support Vaginal Birth and Reduce Primary Cesareans

This toolkit is designed to be used by any type of childbirth professional that may have a role in helping to reduce the number of unnecessary cesareans, particularly by targeting what are considered low-risk cesareans in the population. This is done with many stakeholder groups and shepherded by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC).

Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask

This handout is great for early pregnancy classes as well as later in pregnancy. It goes through prompts of questions and offers a bit of detail on what the expected answer might look like and why. This is from the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS). They also have other handouts on the risks of induction, and cesarean section, as well as others. This comes in a variety of languages.

Your Guide to Breastfeeding

This is a very lengthy booklet on the basics of breastfeeding. It includes information on getting started, going back to work, having help, finding support and much more. It is also available in a variety of languages and cultural covers. This is written by the Office of Women’s Health. They have other pregnancy-related handouts. (Look under Your Guide to Breastfeeding to download the PDF.)

The Rights of Childbearing Women

Childbirth Connection offers this free download of facts about the rights and responsibilities that all pregnant people have in pregnancy and beyond. There are other handouts available as well.

Comfort in Labor

This is a comprehensive handout (14 pages long) written by Penny Simkin for the Childbirth Connection. It has some simple but effective line drawings and covers many topics.

Beliefs About Birth

Janelle Durham offers a wealth of handouts for use at her site. I particularly liked the values clarifications for women and their support people to work through as an activity.

Breastfeeding for Working Mothers

Injoy Videos offers some handouts to accompany their videos. There are also handouts designed to help those facilitating classes. There are a variety located here and can help immensely if you use it in conjunction with the videos.

Health Education Resource Exchange

These handouts are not all pregnancy-related, but they offer a wide variety of languages to choose from which can be very helpful. But they do have a few pregnancy-related to common pregnancy complaints, I am a Breastfeeding Baby, etc.

Changes in the Pregnant Body

Birth Arts International (BAI) offers a handful of handouts like Changes in the Pregnant Body, When to Call the Midwife, and New Siblings.

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.