European Doula Network

Our network was founded, and is continually being built, not by one doula, but by inspirational doulas from all across Europe and beyond. 

At the European Doula Network, we know that we are capable of great things by uniting and dedicating a little time and attention to listen to each other.  

Each member brings their own specific qualities and experiences to help EDN keep connecting, informing and supporting doulas everywhere. 

In 2024, the European Doula Network is connecting 63 Doula Associations and Training Programmes, from 27 countries and has 18 Friends of the EDN.

Our member associations include approximately 5,000 doula members. 
Our training programmes have over 200 doula trainers and have trained more than 8,000 doulas in Europe and beyond.

Mothers of Europe, we need your help!

The European Doula Network is conducting a survey about Postpartum practice and possibilities in different countries.

Results of this survey will be a starting point for creating an Action Manifesto for postpartum care during the Postpartum Summit in January-February of 2025.

The Postpartum Summit is organized by Postnatal Support Network and partners Geboortenis Zutphen and European Doula Network.

The Survey is translated into many languages so if you are a mother that gave birth in the last 5 years fill it out and help us understand where we stand with supporting mothers in Europe.


How can I greet my baby into the world? 

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TEDxLjubljana presentation by Špela Peternel

EDN Volunteer and Member Representative


In Memoriam: Penny Simkin

May 31, 1938 – April 11, 2024


Penny’s heartbroken family shares this sad news of our beloved Mom/Gummy/sister
Originally posted by DONA International Social Media Channels and shared on Penny's website; reposted here with permission.

With profound sadness and a heavy heart, DONA International announces the passing of our esteemed co-founder, Penny Simkin, PT, after a brief battle with cancer. Her departure on April 11, 2024 marks a tremendous loss not only to our organization but to the global doula community, childbirth educators, perinatal researchers, families she supported, and the countless lives she touched through her pioneering work in childbirth and maternity care.
Penny’s unwavering dedication to supporting families during one of the most significant moments of their lives has left an indelible mark on the field of labor support and childbirth education. Since 1968, Penny, a skilled physical therapist, embarked on a mission to transform the childbirth experience, making it more empowering, informed, and supported.

Her tireless commitment to this cause led her to prepare over 15,000 individuals, couples, and siblings for childbirth, directly assist hundreds of families through labor as a doula, and author several influential books that have become staples in the field that have been translated into several languages.

Penny was a visionary and a luminary in every sense. Her work has paved the way for a new generation of doulas and childbirth educators, instilling in them the values of compassion, evidence-based practice, and relentless advocacy for birthing people and their families. Through her profound contributions and co-founding of DONA International, Penny has revolutionized doula care and childbirth education across the globe, leaving a legacy that will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.

Her book, The Birth Partner, remains a beloved resource for anyone involved in the childbirth process, illustrating her commitment to not only the physical but also the emotional well-being of doulas and families during childbirth.

Though she recently stepped back from her professional endeavors to focus on her family, Penny’s legacy continues to thrive through the work of the many doulas she trained, the families she supported, and the impactful works she left behind. Her life was a testament to her passion for making childbirth a positive and supported experience for all.

Penny’s life was rich not only in professional achievements but also in love and joy. She and her husband, Peter, were blessed with four grown children, nine grandchildren, many grandchildren-in-law, five great-grandchildren, and a beloved dog, Casey. Her family was her pride and joy, and she cherished the time spent with her loved ones.

As we mourn the loss of Penny Simkin, we also celebrate her extraordinary life and the countless ways she has enriched ours. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us as we carry forward her mission to improve childbirth and support families around the world. Penny’s spirit lives on in the work of DONA International, in the lives of the families she has touched, and in the hearts of the many who loved her.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to DONA International in Penny Simkin’s memory, to continue her life’s work of supporting and educating doulas and families. For more information on how to make a contribution, please visit https://www.dona.org/impactprogram/

We invite all who knew Penny, were touched by her work, or wish to share their thoughts and memories to do so by sending them to [email protected]. Your stories and memories will be a great comfort and a cherished collection for her family during this difficult time.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Penny’s family, friends, and the many individuals whose lives she has touched. May her soul rest in peace, and may her legacy of love, support, and education continue to flourish in the years to come.


'United for birth'

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We invite you to find out more about doulas and the EDN through our documentary mini-series.

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EDN Newsletters

Following the cycles of nature, our newsletter comes out each season, sharing inspirational doula stories, latest developments and ongoing projects. English is the EDN linguafranca, but we also share original version articles with translations into English.