What is a Doula?

What is a doula?

A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.

(http://americanpregnancy.org)

What does a doula do?

Most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this period, they develop a relationship in which the mother feels free to ask questions, express her fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan.

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

(http://americanpregnancy.org)

During delivery a doula does....

During delivery, doulas are in constant and close proximity to the mother. They have the ability to provide comfort with pain-relief techniques including breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, massage, and laboring positions.

Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance.

(http://americanpregnancy.org)

What are the benefits of having a doula?

Studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40%, and requests for an epidural by 60%.

What about the partner’s role when using a doula?

The role of the doula is never to take the place of partners in labor but rather to complement and enhance their experience. However, some partners prefer to enjoy the delivery without having to stand in as the labor coach.

Are there other types of Doulas?

Yes there are:


Postpartum doulas provide support in the first weeks after birth. They provide informational support about feeding and caring for the baby. They provide physical support by cleaning, cooking meals, and filling in when a new mother needs a break. They provide emotional support by encouraging a mother when she feels overwhelmed.

(http://americanpregnancy.org)