What is an End-of-Life Doula? September 2023 Newsletter

What is end-of-life doula?

NEW Educational Outreach Tool for End-of-Life Doulas!

What is an End-of-Life Doula? is new outreach tool for end-of-life doulas, now available to download and customize for your audience ($14.95). The PowerPoint slide show can be used to make presentations to consumers, hospices, home health agencies, student groups, veterans’ groups, and more. Nine simple and beautiful slides provide an overview of the role of the end-of-life doula. Create your own accompanying narrative. Get the word out in your community !

Register Today & Save!
Our prices are going up on October 1st

We have held our prices steady since before covid hit, even as our costs increased across the board. With the coming price increase, I am building more value for you (mentoring, opportunities for networking, and more). The fee for birth, postpartum, and end-of-life doula training will increase by $100 to $797. Discounted bundled trainings and payment plans are offered. Custom payment plans can be arranged for anyone in need by emailing patty@lifespandoulas.com. See at-a-glance all of our doula training options.

While many families are struggling economically, doula business owners are reporting that demand for services remains high. Many doulas find that they can recoup their training investment after serving one or two paying clients! Who wants to be a doula?

Favorite Resources for Birth & Postpartum Doulas 

Sarah Buckley, MD is an Australian physician who takes a critical look at hot topics in the world of obstetrics in her blog. See her latest on Labor Induction: Making Choices. Get the evidence-based information you need.

Elizabeth Pantley is the author of The No-Cry Solutions series. Her blog is focused on down-to-earth, compassionate guidance for parents. 

Aviva Romm, MD is an OB/GYN, herbalist, and author. I knew Aviva 20+ years ago when she was a homebirth midwife in my neck of the woods. Today she is specializing in alternative approaches to an array of women’s health concerns. A search on “herbs in pregnancy” on her site brought up this great collection of blogs.

LactaLearning provides interactive professional lactation courses created and hosted by Barbara Robertson, MA IBCLC. Earn your Clinical and Communication Lactation Specialist (CCLS) Certificate as a stepping stone toward certification as an IBCLC. Barbara is simply an excellent instructor and so knowledgeable about breastfeeding.

Reminder That Forgiveness Is Not a Requirement for Peace, According to Death Doulas

Lifespan Doulas End-of-Life Doula Training workshop schedule. We have several options for you this fall!

  • October 11-25 (3 Wednesdays, 1-4:30pm EDT)
  • November 11-12 (Sat & Sun 10am-4pm EDT)

Doulapalooza, the annual conference and flagship event of the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, is now open for registrations. The purpose of the online event is to bring end-of-life doulas together for learning, networking, and inspiration. October 13-15. 


And another resource for you …

How End-of-Life Doulas & Hospice Overlap (Free PDF download). Where are the gaps? See at-a-glance how end-of-life doulas overlap with hospice caregivers and fill gaps in services for families. A key differentiator is the amount of time any given caregiver has available to spend with the dying person and their loved ones. Medicare constraints leave families on their own much of the time and doctors are notoriously terrible at initiating and engaging in difficult conversations about death and dying. Use the chart to educate both consumers and caregivers about your role.

Interviewing funeral directors about home funerals

“I was very excited as I worked through the lesson on Home Funerals, as this is a topic of great interest to me. I procrastinated in completing the exercise involving phone interviews with funeral directors as I was feeling nervous and uncomfortable and was worried how receptive directors would be to being interviewed. My investigation revealed noticeable differences in awareness.
The first two directors I contacted seemed hesitant and were unfamiliar with end-of-life doulas and home funerals. The third director showed interest in speaking with me. She had experience with home funerals and was knowledgeable about facilitating the transport and storage of the body. Her fees for the service included charges for pick-up, administration, grave digging, and overseeing the ceremony. However, she mentioned a charge of $75 per day to keep the body in a cooler, which is not necessary, as families can use dry ice. The fourth funeral home director initially expressed resistance and seemed almost angry about the idea of home funerals, fearing that it would take business away from traditional funeral services.” 
—From a student end-of-life doula

I am sharing this feedback as encouragement for those of you who may also be procrastinating getting out of your comfort zone in order to complete your preparation and start serving families. This doula persisted in her efforts and is now ready to steer families in her community who desire a home funeral in the right direction. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” 

Mark your calendar! Upcoming Fall Member Webinars

September 20 (Wednesday 8-9pm EDT)

With Francesca Lynn Arnoldy, EOL doula trainer & author 

Join Francesca for an introduction to “Death Journaling,” based on her new book. Topics include:

  • Hopes & Goals for Death Journaling
  • Planning, Preparing & Processing
  • Cultivating a Compassionate Presence
  • Storying the Past
  • Tools for Times of Stress & Suffering

Join Zoom Meeting
Passcode: 315009
Or call 646-558-8656 (Meeting ID: 883 0514 3530)

Francesca Lynn Arnoldy is a community doula and death literacy advocate. She is also the author of Cultivating the Doula Heart: Essentials of Compassionate Care (a guidebook) and Map of Memory Lane (a picture book). Visit her website.

November 15th (Wed 8-9pm EST)

Do you need guidance on how to increase your presence online? Who doesn’t? Join us for a session with Sarah Juliasson, TheWebsiteDoula.com. Simple tricks will give you an edge up. More information coming soon!

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Patty Brennan

Patty is the owner and visionary force behind Lifespan Doulas. For 40+ years, she has been a doula, midwife, educator, author, nonprofit executive, and entrepreneur. Patty has personally trained over 3,000 people to become doulas. She is the author of The Doula Business Guide: How to Succeed as a Birth, Postpartum or End-of-Life Doula, 4th Edition, and accompanying Workbook.