Pacific Association of Labor Support | Supporting the Professional Doula since 1989

Effective 12.14.20 the University of Washington Valley Hosipital will be splitting from the policy revision adopted by the other two campuses last month and limiting support to one person only. Please add your signature to the petition below and reach out to the hospital today.

UW Valley Hospital
ATTN: Stacey DeMaranville, Director of Mother Baby
ATTN: Rich Rudman, CEO
4445 Talbot Rd S, Renton, WA 98055

Dear Ms. DeMaranville and UW Valley Administration,

On behalf of my doula colleagues and expectant families in the Puget Sound area; we at PALS Doulas are writing to express our deep disappointment and concern about the updated visitor policy announced to be effective December 14, 2020. In that policy obstetric patients are limited to one support person. This change effectively eliminates professional birth doula support for patients in labor. Having seen this conversation recently at both Overlake and the University of Washington system revised to include doula support, we respectfully as you to consider. To date, all other hospital systems in the greater Seattle area are still including doulas as members of the care team. We believe there is value in the additional comfort and support that comprises the heart of doulas work, and that when doulas are included as members fo the care team; the families we collectively support win. Doula work is social justice work. By excluding doulas, we believe that these policy changes will negatively impact the most vulnerable populations.

Governor Jay Inslee, in his March 23, 2020 proclamation, designated doulas as essential health workers in the Healthcare/Public Health Sector Profile, bullet 2:
“Health care providers and caregivers (e.g., physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, midwives and DOULAS (emphasis added) attending facility-based or home-based births, alternative healthcare providers, social workers, speech pathologists, and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists).”
We applaud and thank you for your dedication to protecting the lives of healthcare workers and the public. As fellow essential workers, we understand the seriousness of COVID19, but believe this change in policy will cause lasting trauma. Many expecting families are terrified in the current environment and lack the extended family and community support they otherwise would have. Denying birthing families access to the support of their choosing negatively impacts their birth outcomes, immediate and long-term.

Nationally, an estimated 6% of birthing families choose doula support (Listening to Mothers Survey, 2018), though locally we estimate that utilization rate to be 2-2.5x higher. In 2019, 3,150 deliveries took place at UW Valley ( 2019 Preliminary Delivery Statistics). With an estimated utilization rate of even 10%, that equates to 300 doula supported births. 300 doula supported births seems a small number relative to the control of the pandemic but means everything to these families.

When we learned of the University of Washington proposing this policy, we circulated a petition that gathered over 1000 signatures signed by doulas, perinatal professionals, and existing and expecting families. We ask that you reconsider it.


The Research on Doulas

The jury has been back on the positive impact of doulas on birth satisfaction and improved outcomes for 30+ years. From research articles, scholarly reviews, recommendations from ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) as well current pregnancy and parent magazines, doulas are here to stay. Check out what they have to say. 

The PALS Difference

PALS is the original doula organization dedicated to the development of the professional doula. Our goal is to doula you on your professional path and connect you with a rich and diverse community for ongoing support and skill development.

For other birth professionals, being a PALS Doula means community, development, and accountability to our organizational guidelines.

Looking for a doula? Find a doula!

PALS Doulas (formerly the Pacific Association of Labor Support) have been supporting birthing families in the community since 1989. We continue that tradition by connecting you with our many available certified and certifying doulas.

All doulas listed on this website are members in good standing with current, active certification or pursing certification with PALS Doulas. 

“While the doula probably knows more than the partner about birth, hospitals and maternity care, the partner knows more about the birthing person’s personality, likes, dislikes and needs. Moreover, the partner loves the birthing person more than anyone else there. The combination of partner and doula, along with a caring staff gives the birthing person the best chance of an optimal outcome.” 

-Penny Simkin, author of The Birth Partner

Request a Doula

Are you looking for a doula? Click here to complete a simple form and we will send available PALS Doulas name and contact information to YOU

We’ve been connecting and supporting doulas for 30 years. We are here to answer your questions. help you find the right training for you, and assist you in certifying. 
We are committed to removing barriers to and increasing accessibility to membership and certification with PALS Doulas for ALL Doulas in Washington State regardless of training organizations; as such we offer a variety of full and partial scholarships. Click below to apply or to donate in support of PALS Doulas. As a 501(c)6 organization we are sustained through the support of our members (via membership and certification fees) and generous support of community members. 

Years Strong!

“Only with trust, faith, and support can the birthing person allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower them. Thier strongest feelings [in terms of their birthings], positive and negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.”

-Penny Simkin and Annie Kennedy, PALS Founders

Supporting Members

Sprout Birth Center & Natural Health

We’re committed to providing a safe place for everyone to grow, birth, and find their best health. By caring for you and your family we strive to help prepare you for the transition to parenthood and the new addition to your family.

All people and families are welcome. We’d be honored to be a part of your journey.

Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations

If you dream of serving birthing persons and families, the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University delivers knowledge, tools, and skills you can immediately use in your community. Since 1988, the Simkin Center has helped more than 8500 students meet their educational goals and go on to become leaders in their professions.

Baby Diaper Service

Simple. Smart. Sustainable. Eco-Friendly full service cloth diapering since 1946. 

Tranquility Postpartum Support

Nurturing Care for the Fourth Trimester

Providing American Heart Association certified CPR instruction, H.U.G. Your Baby , a Becoming Us - Family facilitator, a certified maternal and infant sleep consultant, and CAPPA postpartum doula.

Tree of Life Chiropractic

We're Seattle's premier perinatal and pediatric chiropractic office. Here at Tree of Life Chiropractic, it is our passion and calling to serve the families of the greater Seattle area. We believe that being healthy is our number one asset and that true health starts with conception. We specialize in the Webster technique and other prenatal techniques that ensure your pregnancy and birth are as successful and safe as possible. 

Open Arms Perinatal Services

Community-based support for the families who need it most.

We help parents and children develop the confidence and skills they need to become their own best advocates. Our network of trained birth doulas and community-based early parenting support create positive early childhood outcomes that last a lifetime.


Serving Seattle since 2008.

Our comfortable, family-friendly classroom is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.  We believe every family is unique. We strive to provide a safe and productive environment for all families.

If we improve birth today, future generations will thrive!  EVERY SINGLE BIRTHING PERSON is deserving of respect, care and unconditional support.

Om Mama Co.

Om Mama Co. is a collective of photography & wellness businesses in Seattle serving a community of anticipating, expecting and new moms. Our mission is to connect, support and celebrate women during this season of life, by encouraging mind & body strength, friendship and FUN! 

International Placenta & Postpartum Association

Providing placenta and postpartum training.

Puget Sound Birth Center

Supporting safe, respectful, family-centered care​ for over 23 years with personalized attention from our experienced, licensed midwives.
Support for how you want to birth.​

Seattle Midwives

We believe in birth, and we believe in you. Caring midwifery support for in-home births.

Moms Rising

MomsRising is a network of people just like you, united by the goal of changing the world.

Perinatal Support of Washington

1 in 7 Women

…and 1 in 10 men experience serious mood and anxiety disorders during the perinatal period around the birth of a child.

The prognosis for recovery is excellent with a combination of support, therapy and/or medications. Perinatal Support of Washington connects families with psychotherapists, support groups, providers to oversee medication management, and doulas.

1-888-404-7763 Warm line/Se Habla Espanol


Diaper Stork

At Diaper Stork, our goal is to make your baby parenting life as simple as possible, and do some good while we're at it. Whatever your reasons for choosing cloth, we want to help make cloth diapering accessible, convenient, and easy to stick with. Our core cloth diaper service provides a weekly pick up and delivery of cloth diapers. We also have a cloth diaper rental system and products for sale for those interested in washing at home and saving $$.

Program For Early Parenting Support

PEPS connects and supports new parents as they begin their parenting journey. Connecting 3700+ parents throughout King and Snohomish Counties in thriving, social, peer-supported parent groups. 

Community for Mindful Parenting

The Community of Mindful Parenting aspires to empower parents to become more effective, mindful and compassionate. We are comprised of expectant moms, parents, grandparents, extended families and friends with the goal to nurture powerful relationships between parents and their children. Learn about your Listening Mothers™ class and plan to join our Facebook Community to continue the amazing journey of mindful parenting.

Embodied Wellness

Amy is a Certified Nutritionist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor passionate about helping moms nourish themselves with food, emotional support, and other self-care practices.

Puget Sound Birth Tubs

Providing rigid and inflatable birth tubs for rent in the greater Seattle area.