What is a Doula?

A doula is someone who is trained to assist women, and their partner (if in attendance), with emotional, physical and educational support before and during childbirth and provide support to the family after the baby is born. The purpose of a doula is to help the birthing mother have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience!

What does a doula do?

A doula is there to help console and prepare the birthing mother BEFORE labor begins. Normally they will meet 2-3 times before the due date to go over questions, concerns and talk about how the doula can make the labor experience go as smoothly as possible. We simply support your birth plan and help you plan how to achieve it.

During birth, a doula can help the birthing mother and her partner (if in attendance) go through the birth as smoothly as possible. They can help put counter-pressure, massages, labor positions to help move labor along and try to help with the pain. They help ensure that the mother and her partner are doing an amazing job and help advocate for the mother. Even if the birthing mother had an epidural or a planned caesarean birth, the doula is there to offer support in any way the birth mother and her partner need it.

After birth, a doula is there to help you through the transition from after birth to the recovering room. They are there to make sure you feel confident in breastfeeding or bottle feeding. They also to help encourage bonding between the baby and the family, most particularly the mother.

Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labor and delivery.

Why have a doula?

Society and Culture have made doulas look like they only support natural childbirth, and hate hospitals and doctors. That’s not necessarily true (I can’t speak for every Doula). Doulas are meant to be there to support the mother and her partner’s birth plans no matter if they have a planned caesarean, or planned to get pitocin to start labor. The doula is there to make sure you have the best experience possible which will include having a healthy relationship with the hospitals, doctors and nurses.

When a mother finds the right doula that fits her and her family, studies have showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have medical interventions like cesarean birth and pain medicine relief like an epidural. Overall cesarean births have decrease by 50%, the length of labor is cut by 25%, the use of oxytocin goes down by 40%, and requests for an epidural goes down by 60%, all of that just by using a doula.

The role of the doula is never to take the place of husbands or partners in labor, but rather to complement and enhance their experience as a family. The birth of a child is not only a special moment for the mother but it is also a special moment that the father or partner will remember for the rest of their life.

Doulas are also useful if you are having a planned caesarean birth or if you are planning on having an epidural, or even if you are a mother already. Doulas are not just meant for natural births, at the end of the day they are there to help you achieve the birth you want.