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First Nations doulas: Training needs and industry support in the Top End, Northern Territory, Australia

Published:November 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2022.11.007

      Abstract

      Problem and background

      First Nations doulas offer an innovative approach for strengthening capacity and increasing the Australian First Nations maternity workforce to improve access to services that produce optimal outcomes. Currently, there is no published evidence on the training needs and health sector industry support for developing a First Nations doula workforce.

      Question/aim

      In the context of the ‘Top End,’ Northern Territory, Australia, the aim of this article is to document Industry feedback on the training needs and support for developing a First Nations doula workforce.

      Methods

      Ten purposively recruited Industry representatives participated in a facilitated workshop using the Kaospiolit Vision Backcasting education design tool.

      Findings

      Participants identified and reached consensus on almost all the underpinning skills, knowledge, mindset, and attitudes required to work as a First Nations doula. Overall participants indicated strong Industry appetite and support for formally developing the doula role.

      Discussion

      There was participant consensus that accredited doula training would be a ‘game-changer’, addressing inadequacies and inequities in NT’s reproductive and maternal health services for remote-living First Nations women.

      Conclusion

      More research is required to explore First Nations doula practice in addressing perinatal inequities and workforce issues. Investigation is required to identify funding and appropriate workforce models.

      Keywords

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