This page collects free printable handouts / links to PDF’s for doulas to share with their clients, or for childbirth educators to use in birth preparation classes.
[Note: Some of these materials reference page numbers, for example, they may say PCN 67. We use Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn as our class textbook, and those are the page numbers in the 5th edition.]
- Are you ready for a baby? a handout with questions to ask yourself.
- Improving Overall Health and Increasing Fertility: One-Page Handout.
- Six-Page Handout with all the details; includes the “Are you ready?” questionnaire.
- 7-Week Series Outline: This set of handouts basically summarizes all of the information I cover during the series, along with illustrations of positions for labor and birth.
- Guide to Labor Support. A 2 page handout that covers how to assess whether someone is coping with labor or needs more support, and summarizes all the labor support tips and comfort techniques from this website and my podcast.
- Labor support “Cliff Notes”: An older 2 page summary of stages of labor, comfort techniques, and positions.
- Choices to Make: Choosing a Caregiver compares OB, family doctor, nurse-midwife and licensed midwife.
- Hormones: My handout on Hormones of Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum was written for prenatal yoga instructors and has tips for how they may use this info in their work.
- Food Diary a homework assignment for students to track their diet on for a few days as a follow-up to a presentation on nutrition
- Relaxation Techniques for Pregnancy and Labor
- PMAD Prevention: Packing for the Emotional Journey. A handout that uses the metaphor of risk factors as “baggage” – if you don’t have many, you may be able to carry the emotional weight of the transition to parenthood easily. If you have a LOT of risk factors, think about what protective factors and resources you can set up.
Labor and Birth:
- Values Clarification Handouts: the first step in Informed Decision Making is Values Clarification. I’ve designed three different handouts which could be used to explore this – these can be used as an in-class exercise, or homework for a birth class, or in a prenatal appointment with a doula client. They’re all intended as starting points for a discussion between a pregnant person and their partner.
- Beliefs About Birth – how important is the birth experience, how painful is labor, pain medication preference, desire for advocacy, support style, and faith in body’s ability to give birth.
- Values Clarification – how important is birth, natural vs. medical approach, beliefs about pain meds, top priorities for birth, do your caregivers share your values, decision making style, key questions to ask care provider, then key questions to ask yourself when making a decision.
- Beliefs About Labor Pain – pain-coping identity, how do you cope with a headache or when sick, pick 5 words that describe what you think labor will be like, what style of support helps, how painful do you expect labor to be, pain medication preference,
- Medical Mindset and decision making spectrum – based on ideas from Groopman – understanding each other’s general attitudes toward medical care (are you a maximalist or minimalist, a believer in natural health or modern technology) and decision making helps a partner and laboring person make decisions together.
- Wallet card reminder of key questions for informed consent.
- Coping Techniques
- Guide to Labor Support. A 2 page handout that covers how to assess whether someone is coping with labor or needs more support, and summarizes all the labor support tips and comfort techniques from this website and my podcast. Here’s a file with comfort tech wallet card about this info.
- Comfort Techniques Handout – covers cognitive strategies, gate control, counter-irritants, body mechanics. Here’s the wallet card visual comfort cards. (Note: all the techniques and ideas are covered in more detail in episode 4 of the Transition to Parenthood podcast – a transcript is available.)
- Checklist of comfort measures [editable .doc] that support partners can suggest using during labor.
- Coping styles: Helps couples to understand what tools they use to cope with other challenges, so they can think about how to apply those to labor.
- Tracking Your Tigers: The effects of fear on labor and how to tame it and work through your fear.
- Labor Review Quiz: A one-page quiz that can be completed over lunch in a one-day class or as homework.
- VBAC fact sheet handout
- How Partners Can Support Breastfeeding: a handout targeted at dads and partners about benefits of breastfeeding, how breastfeeding works and how they can help with it, and all the ways they can support the breastfeeding relationship to increase the chance that the new parent will initiate and continue breastfeeding.
- Benefits of Breastfeeding: The benefits breastfeeding provides for baby, parents, and society. [Note: this is from 2003, and should be updated, but it can give you ideas for what to look for in creating your own handout.]
- Preparation for Breastfeeding: Optional supplies you may choose to obtain before baby is born, things you should not do to prepare for breastfeeding, and some things you may want to do.
- Anatomy and Physiology: Anatomy of the breast, changes during pregnancy, and milk production.
- How to Breastfeed: Position and Latch.
- Frequency and Duration of feedings: how often? How much? Guidelines on when to feed and hunger cues.
- Signs that baby is getting enough: How to tell baby is well-fed and when to be concerned.
- Hurdles: Common challenges in breastfeeding and how to overcome them.
- Nutrition for breastfeeding moms.
- Pumping, storing, and bottle-feeding.
- Breastfeeding Past the First 6 Weeks: How long to breastfeed and how to fit it in with your life.
- Baby Care Plan & “Shopping List”: Helps expectant parents think out a list of what they need to buy/borrow, but also encourages them to think out some of the realities of life with baby, like who is responsible for night-time wakeups, who is responsible for laundry, and what obligations they can let slide for the first few months while they get to know their baby. If you prefer, I’ve updated this (in 2021) and separated it into two separate handouts: baby care planning and equipment for babies.
- Choosing Child Care – a 6 page handout that explains the options, how to assess your own needs, search for and research your options and choose the best fit. (Includes an optional 7th page with resources in Washington state)
- Packing for Emotional Journey – a handout on prevention and treatment of PMADs.
- Support and Sanity Savers a handout which encourages parents to plan ahead for support for postpartum support, self care, relationship support, and more. Includes a letter to give to friends/family about how they can help. Here’s an editable word document that you can adapt to your own needs, including local resources.
- Sleep: Covers Infant Sleep from 0 – 6 months. A collection of tips on what to expect for typical sleep patterns and what parents can do to help baby sleep.
- One-page review quiz with answers and resources on the back.
- Appreciation: Appreciating your partner when you feel like you’re putting in more than you’re getting back.
- Finding the Time and Space to Be Together: How to fit in couple time when baby needs so much time.
- Love Languages for Labor and Love Languages for Newborn Care: Figuring out the best way to show love to your partner.
- Relationships skills – a one page summary including all the tools above and more.
- Relationship toolbox – a handout covering appreciation, quality time, love languages, and conflict resolution skills
Forms for Feedback and Input from Students:
- Student Info and Feedback Sheet: I give this out on the first night of a class series to gather a little more information about my students so I can adapt my class to best meet their needs.
- Class Reactions: This is an evaluation to be completed part way through a multi-week series. It gets immediate feedback on how class went that night so instructors can get a sense of where to adjust it from there.
- Class Evaluation: To be completed at the end of a class or class series.
Copyright: All the articles on this site were written by me, Janelle Durham, between 2000 and the present day.
Fair Use: You cannot sell these materials. (You may ask for reimbursement for copying costs, but otherwise charge no money for these materials.) You are welcome to use the materials as part of a class or your doula services where you are charging for your services. You may also link to them from your website, use them in online classes, or in recordings of online classes.
Using Excerpts: If you cut and paste substantial information from my website, please cite me as the author and include a link to the webpage where it was found.
If you have questions, contact me at janelled at live dot com.