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Operation Doula began from the heart of two women, a Doula and a Midwife.  They shared the same dream, to provide labor and birth support to a community of women with a higher than average need for support who had limited resources to obtain that support.  As a military spouse and a doula, Maria Provencher was excited to partner with Midwife and Professor Shari Kari.  Shari had worked as a midwife at Balboa Hospital prior to her work as a Professor at SDSU’s School of Nursing.  

With their backgrounds and shared passion, they soon developed the program for Naval Medical Center San Diego, known as Balboa Hospital and went to work gathering volunteers. In August of 2016 we welcomed our first Operation Doula baby into the world, little Daniella.

Daniella’s Mom arrived at the hospital in labor, completely alone, Dad was deployed and her family lived outside of the U.S.  Maria met her at Balboa and they worked together with quiet love and support until Daniella arrived. It was a beautiful birth and the perfect way to begin our program’s journey helping others.  We recently celebrated Daniella’s birthday and today we have over 20 active volunteer doulas along with the support and encouragement of the wonderful staff at Balboa Hospital.