Djäkamirr: Exploring principles used in piloting the training of First Nations doulas in a remote multilingual Northern Australian community setting

Sarah Ireland, Dorothy Yuŋgirrŋa Bukulatjpi, Evelyn Djotja Bukulatjpi, Rosemary Gundjarraŋbuy, Renee Adair, Yvette Roe, Suzanne Moore, Sue Kildea, Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Problem and background: 

There is growing evidence in First Nations doula care as a strategy to address perinatal inequities and improve maternal care experiences. However, there is no evidence around the approach and principals required to successfully deliver First Nations doula (childbirth) training. 

Question/aim: 

To explore and describe the approach and principles used in piloting the training of First Nations doulas in remote, multilingual Northern Australian community settings. 

Methods: 

Case study with participant interviews to identify principles underpinning our Decolonising Participatory Action Research (D-PAR) approach and training delivery.

Findings: Reflections on our D-PAR research process identified enabling principles: 1) Use of metaphors for knowledge reflexivity, 2) Accommodate cultural constructions of time 3) Practice mental agility at the Cultural Interface, 4) Advocate and address inequities, 5) Prioritise meaningful curriculums and resources, 6) Establish cross-cultural recognition and validity; and 7) Ensure continuity of First Nations culture and language. 

Discussion: 

The success of our doula training pilot disrupts a pervasive colonial narrative of First Nation deficit and demonstrates that respectful, genuine, and authentic partnerships can power transformative individual and collective community change. Our D-PAR approach assumes mutual learning and expertise between community and researchers. It is well suited to collaborative design and delivery of First Nations reproductive health training.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101573
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume37
Issue number3
Early online date2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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