Throughout this site, you’ll find musings on birth, death, and life with the doula heart thoughtfully crafted/curated by Francesca Arnoldy, author of Cultivating the Doula Heart: Essentials of Compassionate Care and Map of Memory Lane. Francesca is a bereavement researcher with the Vermont Conversation Lab, and she developed EOL doula training programs for the University of Vermont. Her goal is to encourage people to hold one another’s hands through life’s intensities and sacred rites of passage. Francesca lives in quaint Vermont with her family in a most beloved village.

Francesca is currently writing a new interactive workbook aimed at helping people prepare for life’s end–slated to be on bookshelves summer of 2023 (New Harbinger)!

A doula is a non-medical caregiver who provides emotional support to people throughout their birthing or dying experience. The doula heart is brimming with compassion, ensuring each person served feels heard, empowered, and honored.

Want to learn more? Check out the guidebook!

“Cultivating the Doula Heart: The Essentials of Compassionate Care by Francesca Arnoldy is small book with a powerful message. As a guide to caring for the emotional and spiritual journey of patients at the end of life, this book should be in every doula’s tool kit and on the shelf of anyone who plans to be with a dying loved one in the future. The book teaches us how to “be” with a dying patient in body, mind and spirit and provides helpful tools and practices to empower anyone to be a compassionate companion for the end-of-life journey.” -Karen M. Wyatt, MD of EOL University, Hospice Physician, Spiritual Teacher, Speaker, Author of Award-Winning Book: What Really Matters

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Buy Francesca’s books at Contemplative Doula’s Bookshop online!

The doula model is built on unconditional positive regard. Francesca embodied that principle in her interactions with us. She encouraged introspection, reflection and careful consideration when content was difficult…She taught with a “doula heart” and personified the qualities of a true companion on the path. It seemed there was a wide range of experience and aptitude among students, and Francesca honored and respected our differences, helping us all feel welcome and efficacious… -S.F., UVM EOL Doula Program Graduate

Doula Training

“I can’t say enough about Francesca. She is wise beyond her years and created an incredible sense of community. (Not easy to do in an online class!) It was obvious from her responses that she is committed, patient, compassionate, and had our best interest at heart. She really understands people and life and love and all the material. She was perfect in every way.” -C.R., UVM EOL Doula Program Graduate

Doula Training