I was an exhibitor at a Doula conference this past August in Albuquerque, NM. There were several reoccurring questions and/or statements that might be useful to you in your presentation:
1. Doula's weren't aware of the FREE materials the PF offers (and in Spanish and other languages) - Signs & Symptoms brochures, magnets, Rx pads, etc. (They like to have materials to give their clients, and it's one extra way for a woman to get the info into her hands - and it's free, less snail mail shipping, through our website).
2. Many weren't aware that women die from PE or complications of PE. For the ones who've seen PE, it's been mild, late term, with no consequences. There were a few who got a taste of HELLP with a patient and are now very alert for it. Spouting statistics worked quite nicely with this group. Most were quite eager to learn new information.
3. Because Doula's often have more time to spend with a patient than a midwife/OB, and often have a closer relationship with the patient, she is in a prime position to be on the lookout for symptoms, ask about symptoms (particularly PP doulas), and encourage the patient to ask more, or specific questions of her doctor. She can even urge her to be seen if something isn't quite right. Of course, this means she needs to be educated on signs & symptoms.
4. Many doulas at the conference complained about OB's rushing women into an induction or C-section. My response was, "There must have been something, or a lot of little somethings that made the doctor decide it was time to deliver. Being non-medical folks, we can't second guess, or urge a patient to resist the advice of a medical professional." Most agreed with this line of thinking.
5. There are classes for doulas who work with women during a "birth trauma". The word "trauma" is relative - an unplanned c-section might be traumatic for a mom, and then there are us severe PE moms at the other end of the trauma spectrum. There will be a time when a doula works with a woman who has a delivery like one of ours (train wreck), and there will be women who hire doulas to work with them during a subsequent pregnancy that may or may not become a train wreck - so I'd urge them to take these types of classes in preparation. They could be of great service to a woman and/or her family.
6. Cucumbers do not = prevention.
Ok, I'm being smart, but I did have to answer that question a couple times. It REALLY is important that doulas NOT give advice on specific diets, supplements, herbs, medications beyond "take the prenatal your doctor rx'd, and eat a well-balanced, healthful diet". They are not pregnancy nutritionists or OB's, and pretending to be can put their patient in danger. No matter how many times they've seen a particular diet, herb, or remedy work, does not mean that it is right for every woman.
7. I'd urge doulas to come to our website for provider info, to learn more about preeclampsia, and see our stories. They truly have a heart for women and childbirth, and so do we. We WANT to have a beneficial relationship with them, partner with them in community outreach, and support them in their practice to promote preeclampsia education by providing materials.
Good luck! They are generally very warm, welcoming, and eager to learn. Let us know how it goes!