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Photographer: Michelle Bressler

The History of DAE

You will find our history here. It is made of facts, anecdotes, interpretations, recollections, myths and perhaps truth. Like any history, it is made of people and thus it is never static. We will keep you updated of what makes us who we are with time and perception. 

"My memory is fuzzy on the dates and all the people involved" says local Midwife Barbara Scriver. In the mid-nineties she organized an evening called Becoming a Midwife and invite any women in the community who were interested in this path. She hoped that this gathering would enable her to help others who, like her in the past, are struggling in the becoming part of midwifery. And so there is was, a number of people gathered at this informal evening. One of the many things that was said was that "labour support was a way to gain experience and to be in touch with women, birth and babies." 

This comment and the community created through this informal gathering inspired some of the women present to action. Perhaps there was no midwifery education in Alberta, but that didn't mean they had to go to nursing school or relocate to gain experience. Suddenly a door was opened where women who has the desire to attend and support other families in their childbearing journey could be present. These were the first doulas in the community and they gained experienced about how birth looked, sounded and what it required.

As women started attending births as non-medical support they gathered at each others houses to debrief and share their experiences. These informal get-togethers grew into formal meetings where meeting minutes were taken and goals were stated. "I know it started out as the Doula Circle, then it became the Alberta Doula Association, and finally the Doula Association of Edmonton." Suzanne Moquin recalls. Some of the earliest women involved were Jenny Whittome, Teri Clarke, Gretta Buttigieg, Gudrun von Selzam and Donna MacBeth. It must have been around 1994 when this happened. 

In September 2002, doulas in Edmonton became official under the name "Doula Association of Edmonton" (DAE). Denise Mizoilet, Tracey Stolarchuk, Suzanne Moquin, Diana Forbes and Muna Bashir formed the society. 

In 2007, the Doula Association of Edmonton reached several milestones. We no longer fit in a living room as we counted 42 members. We also started meeting every month instead of every two months, and we introduced our first Continuing Education Lecture Series ​for Doulas.