Monday, February 19, 2007

Operation Special Delivery

Operation Special Delivery can be a great way for new doulas to get certifying births while supporting a wonderful cause so I wanted to tell everyone about the program and how they can volunteer.
Operation Special Delivery (or OSD), provides trained volunteer doulas for pregnant women whose husbands or partners have been severely injured or who have lost their lives due to the current war on terror, or who will be deployed at the time that they are due to give birth.*visit the web site for the volunteer application
I am the GA Coordinator and Assistant Director of OSD because I strongly believe in this cause. My husband recently retired from the Army so I have known and know of many women who have given birth alone because their husbands/partners were deployed and I love the fact that I can give back to these military families. Though I respect and admire the men and women that serve, my heart goes out to their families because they are seldom recognized for the sacrifices they make and the strength they must display to hold a family together during such difficult times. I have been the wife of a soldier for over 9 years so I know many of the struggles these families face. The last thing these women should have to face is giving birth alone. Often times they have no close friends because of a recent move or the close friends they do have are caring for their older children when they go into labor. As of the end of 2006 we have over 300 volunteer doulas across the country and even a few internationally. If you would like to volunteer to attend a military family please visit the website and send in a volunteer application. Many areas have never even heard of OSD because we simply do not have the volunteers to cover any applicants. I'd love to see more women taking advantage of this service we provide and more military hospitals seeing doulas on a regular basis. The way the program works:Once you have volunteered, your information will be sent to your state coordinator. If/when a woman applies for a doula in your area the state coordinator will contact you to see if you are available to attend the birth. If you are not available at that time just let the coordinator know and she'll contact another doula. If you are available the coordinator will send you the applicants information so that you can contact her to set up prenatal appointments. I wanted to add this so that everyone understands that volunteering does not mean you have to take every OSD client that comes up in your area. There are also many states that do not have coordinators so if you would like to volunteer in this capacity let me know and I'll send you the details. I had not even attended my first birth as a doula when I accepted the GA State Coordinator position. I have found it is a great platform for me to be able to talk about doulas without feeling like I am selling myself. This has given me the courage to tell more people about doulas since I was promoting a good cause at the same time. FYI, if you make presentations about OSD you are bound to get a couple of inquiries about your doula services by people that don't need a volunteer. If you have any questions please feel free to post here or to contact me directly.**you do not have to be certified to only have to submit a certificate of training from any of the doula organizationsWe have a few OSD state coordinators here on alldoulas. Ladies...will you give a little *posted with approval__________________Christy Shields, CLDAssistant Director/GA Coordinator Operation Special DeliveryMother the MotherProfessional Doula Services

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