What is a doula?
A birth doula is educated, professional support for you, as well as a facilitator to your partner and other support members of your birth team. A doula tends to a birthing person’s physical and emotional needs throughout childbirth as well as offering suggestions and support to partners and family. A doula supports you and your family through labor and the early postpartum period.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
Study after study has shown significant reductions in all medical interventions including inductions, epidurals and cesarean births, improvement in breastfeeding rates, and the increased satisfaction or positive view on the birth experience of those who had a doula attend to them during birth.
What does a doula do?
As a birth doula, I provide a range of support from the time I arrive at your side to the time I leave after your baby is born. During all of these stages I provide emotional and physical support, teach pain-coping techniques during labor, and finally assist with breastfeeding, newborn care, postpartum recovery, and the transition to parenthood.
My husband/wife/partner/mother/sister/friend will be at my birth, do I really need a doula?
Yes! This is a common concern, that a doula would take the place of main support person. A doula is there for both you and your support system during labor. I do not take the place of anyone and stand along side your support system and enhance their support during your birth experience by showing them how to be most helpful only if necessary. A doula could be a friend or family member who have experience with birth or not, but I believe that a doula who has been trained in providing emotional and physical support can be invaluable to a laboring person and their loved ones.
I have an obstetrician/midwife, do I really need a doula?
Yes! A doula does not provide medical advice or perform medical procedures. I also do not make decisions or speak directly to the medical staff on a client’s behalf. If a you or your support person has questions, I will help you obtain from medical staff all information and summaries of all the options presented to you. Unlike your doctor or nurses, I provide emotional and physical support, teach pain-coping techniques during labor, and assist with breastfeeding, newborn care, postpartum recovery, and your transition to parenthood. This is the most vital duty a doula has to her clients: a birth doula remains a constant source of strength and support to both the laboring woman and her family from beginning to end.
I want an epidural, do I really need a doula?
Yes! Although from my experience, an unmedicated birth is a more common desire in people interested in having a doula attend their birth, I am supportive of birth in any and all forms, and I hope that I can help you have a positive birth experience no matter the path your birth takes.
Who doulas the doula?
Other doulas! I was assisted on my journey to parenthood by fellow doula Lindsey Morrow.
HELPFUL ARTICLES ON DOULAS
The Doula and the Partner by Penny Simkin