Coaching Skills for Birth Professionals

Coaching skills for birth professionals: bringing your clients closer to their inner knowledge.

De training in oktober wordt in het Nederlands gegeven.

When working with pregnant people, communication plays a vital part in your interaction with your clients. It matters how you listen, what questions you ask and how you respond to your clients can truly make all the difference in their journey to birth and parenthood. It also plays a part in how confident they will feel and how satisfied they will be with you.

“As a doula I noticed how I benefited from my extensive previous experience as a coach. Several of the coaching tools that I have gathered and developed, really make a difference in supporting women and their partners in pregnancy and the postpartum period. I am very excited share the tools and exercises that are most effective, with other doulas in the community. So that even more mothers (and their partners) can find their inner knowledge,  confidence and voice.” – Monique van de Werff, trainer

Are you a professional -student or experienced- working with pregnant women: doula, childbirth educator, maternity nurse, midwife, and would you like to learn coaching skills? This training will help you to:

  • Assist your clients in exploring their inner worlds, feelings and needs.
  • Create the space for them to make their own clear, heartfelt birth choices
  • Help them choose their own path towards birth and parenthood
  • Allow them to hear their own voice among the many
  • Have conversations with them that can be healing for your client
  • Find more confidence, fulfilment and connection in your work

In this 2-day training you will learn:

  • Coaching skills, tools and exercises
  • The four most important open questions that will gear your clients towards more autonomy and ownership of their birth journey
  • How you can use your prenatal appointments to help your clients find more power, direction and meaning.
  • Practical exercises that will help your clients make their own clear birth choices that they will feel confident about (‘Mother Justice’ and ‘On the fence’)
  • Creative exercises that will bring about more peace of mind, support from their environment and gentle healing of old wounds (e.g. with exercises called ‘the Map to Peace of Mind’, ‘The Village’ and ‘the Bandaids’)
  • How to be there for women and their partners postpartum in a way that will help them honour their feelings and needs AND gives them a solid base and plan to move forward into parenthood with more confidence and joy (e.g. ‘The wishlist’-exercise)
  • How to set loving boundaries that will make both you and your clients feel more safe
  • How to work with couples in a way that will bring them closer together

For whom?

This training is for every professional who works with pregnant people and who is looking for more ways of being present in their conversations with their clients. This training is for you, not if you wish to learn some tricks, but if you seek authentic growth.

The training is suited for both students and experienced doulas and other professionals who work with pregnant women/people and their partners.

What does the training look like?

Learning by doing & lots of practice (NO endless theoretical diagrams of how fictional humans behave 😉 ). We’ll explore coaching skills in a practical way with reflection & playfulness, as a means to finding a deeper connection with yourself and your clients.

We’ll work in a small group (max. of 14 participants), so there will be enough time & space for interaction.


Day 1:

Introduction on coaching: who are you to be an expert on someone else’s life?

  • Different ways of ‘helping’ and how to stay out of the Helper’s Syndrome
  • Agency: helping people vs. helping people help themselves
  • How to stay grounded and have healthy boundaries when coaching 

Deep listening and the power of true empathy

  • Listen for what’s not being said
  • How to stay open, curious and out of judgement (even when you get irritated and/or the answer seems obvious)
  • Bringing to light both the strengths and struggles of your clients

The art and mastery of asking the right questions

  • Coaching version of informed decision making: how to give your client the lead on what to explore deeper
  • Don’t try to fix people, they’re not broken computers: how to stay away from (the wrong kind of) psychotherapy
  • The four questions that will guide your client deeper in their own birth journey

Day 2:

Help your clients make their own heartfelt choices

  • How to create and hold space for your client’s true feelings and needs to emerge
  • Finding direction, making decisions, daring to make a plan, letting go
  • Creative exercises you can do with your clients and how to create your own

Finding joy, fulfillment and meaning – for your client and you!

  • The power of honest story sharing
  • Who is doing the meaning making and the true meaning of coaching
  • Coaching from a place of gratitude

Into the bones: reflection and connection to your practice 

  • How to put what you learned into practice
  • Questions and sharing of insights
  • Closing ritual


NB: In between the two training days you will apply what you have learned: with one of the other participants, you will do a coaching session of 1 hour. You will talk about an issue that is alive for your ‘client’. In this way, you can apply your new skills and try them out -playfully!- on each others, in a setting that is still part of your learning environment. You will be given feedback within safe framework so that your self confidence can grow and you feel supported in your development.

About the trainer: Monique van der Werff

Monique has a lifelong fascination for real life people interaction, expression and our inner stories. The first 10 years of her career she worked as an actress, theatermaker, playwright and drama teacher. Before becoming a doula two years ago she devoted another 8 years to working as a coach and trainer on the subjects of public speaking, communication, leadership and personal development. She’s explored and mastered a wide array of coaching techniques and communication skills, such as from narrative therapy, voice dialogue, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindful self compassion, empathic listening and nonviolent communication. She has trained other coaches in groups as well as one-on-one-coaching.

What others have to say about Monique as a coach / trainer / doula:

“I learned so much from Monique. She is wise, powerful and gentle at the same time. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned and apply it in my work every day. She doesn’t teach you tricks, but how to have an authentic impact on other people, from the heart.” Simone Davina

“It was a pleasure to work with Monique. Her contribution to my learning process was refreshing and clear. Thank you a thousand times, Monique, you rock.” Claudia van Kesteren

“Monique approaches you in a warm and energetic way. She knows how to help you map out and deal with your worries and anxieties in a straight way. This simply gives you a lot of confidence in yourself and the birth of your baby.” Nita

“Monique’s visit and support postpartum were indispensable and helped me tremendously to re-establish what’s important to me and what I needed. This helped me recover more quickly and make better choices for myself.” Nina

Date: zaterdag 15 oktober + zaterdag 29 oktober
Time: 9.30 doors open, training from 10am – 5.30pm
Location: Naar Zee Stadsoase, Bert Haanstrakade 102, Amsterdam IJburg

Regular: €350,-
Students : €310,-

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Cancelation Policy:

In case of covid-19 related complaints (coughing, running nose, sneezing, throat ache, shortness of breath, fever), your attendance will be postponed to the next available training, without any extra costs (except any chances in the price of the course itself).

If you’re called away to a birth and you miss the second day, you can catch up this day at the next available training. If you miss the first / both days, you can postpone your attendance to the next available training.

If BiA Training / Praktijk Eja is compelled to cancel the training because of covid-19, then your attendance will be postponed until the next available training.

You can retract your registration within 14 days of the online registration and payment. This is not possible if the training takes place within 14 days of registration.

In any other case: no refund possible.