A doula is defined as a women trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor, birth and after baby is born.
The word 'doula' originally comes from ancient Greek, meaning 'Woman's Servant'. Through out history women in labor have turned to other experienced women to support and guide them though childbirth. Today's doulas (also known as labor support persons or labor companions) are trained to help women experience safer and easier labor with guidance and one-on-one support. Our role is to allow women to experience childbirth as a positive and empowering event.
What exactly does a doula do?
- Gets to know the mother-to-be and her family on a personal level before the birth takes place. She will spend time with the family and share her knowledge of pregnancy and labor. Also, she will listen to the mothers wishes' and preferences for her birth.
- Is on call and available anytime of the day or night.
- Is knowledgeable, and offers suggestions for changing positions and many comfort measures to help labor unfold as quickly and easily as possible.
- Provides personalized care to each mother based on her individual circumstances and preferences.
- Involves the woman's partner in the labor process and encourages him to participate in supporting her where he feels comfortable.
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman and her caregivers. Also helps explain medical procedures and terminology.
- Stays with the family after baby is born to help establish breastfeeding, take pictures and make sure everyone is comfortable, ready to rest and just get to know each other.