The past few years have been an amazing period of growth for the International Doula Life Movement. It has been so exciting to watch the community grow as more people find their way to working in end of life care, and to see everyone connect with each other in our classes and through our online community.

When it comes to caring for others and for ourselves, there are so many tools and so much knowledge that comes into play, but there is nothing more valuable than connection with other people. This is why IDLM will be holding its very first Tree of Life conference in San Antonio this coming November, to give members of our international community a chance to come together in one place for the purpose of learning and connecting with each other face to face.

This will be the first conference held by and for end of life doulas, with an impressive roster of speakers who will discuss topics geared specifically toward a greater understanding of the many different forms the end of life process can take.

In the coming months, we intend to spotlight each of the Tree of Life speakers on this blog to let you know a bit more about them and their work. Our keynote speaker at the conference will be Barbara Karnes, whose wisdom has already proved invaluable to IDLM students and graduates. (We love your booklets, Barbara!) We will also be hearing from specialists in dementia care, pediatric care, advance planning, body donation… even how to run the business side of your doula practice. And that’s not even the whole list! The amount of knowledge that will be offered is practically guaranteed to answer a number of questions you never even knew you had.

One of the most powerful aspects of the IDLM community is the fact that each of us brings our own knowledge and compassion to the community. The knowledge, information, and support we share makes each one of us so much stronger than we would be on our own. And the most powerful connections are the ones we can make when we are face to face with each other, sharing experiences side by side.

This conference is going to be something special. With so many amazing people there, it couldn’t possibly be anything else. Watch this space for more information and we will all be hoping to see you in November—in person!

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Hospice and doulas can benefit one another in so many ways. It is important to remember we are all in this together, to adopt a mindset of teamwork, with an awareness of our clients’ needs and the different strengths we all bring toward filling those needs, as doulas, hospice workers, or whatever other role may be required to bring peace and comfort during the dying process.

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Barbara Karnes

A pioneer of the hospice movement, Ms Karnes has won multiple awards as an End of Life Educator and the author of a number of educational booklets on death and dying which are invaluable for anyone who has lost or is in the process of losing a loved one, and essential for everyone working in end of life work. This week we are honored to spotlight Ms Karnes for our blog, in her own words.

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The Jaws Effect

Within the doula and death positive community we spend a lot of time talking about how to open conversations about death, and how important it is to do that. In this week’s blog we’re going to discuss why it is so important to make the effort and have these conversations in the first place.

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