What is a doula? 

I've heard this question many times and each time find myself explaining more than I really need to.  Rather than go into a lengthy explanation into all the different types of doulas I decided it would be best to instead offer the wikipedia definition. 

A doula is an assistant who provides non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in childbirth. Depending on training and experience she may offer prenatal support, childbirth (birth doula) and/or postpartum. A labor doula may attend a home birth or during labor at home and in transport to a hospital or a birth center. A postpartum doula provides home care for the first six weeks (or longer in cases of postpartum depression) including cooking, breastfeeding support, newborn care assistance, errands and light housekeeping.
Do I need a doula?

This is a question only you can answer, and your answer depends on what you want out of your pending birth experience.  Although a woman helping other women labor and birth is a centuries old practice, the doula support profession is a relatively new concept. A doula is someone who is there to support a woman during her labor and delivery. The word doula is a Greek word and refers to a woman who serves another woman, or a woman's slave. In the modern context a labor support doula is someone at the birth to support the mother and her wishes.

Many women wonder why they would need to hire a doula. Most have partners or family members who will be with them during the birth and many hospitals have nurses on staff to care for the laboring mother. And while these people can offer a wealth of support to the mother, a doula can still be a valuable part of the childbirth experience.

A doula is not there to take the place of the partner in the birth; she will not have the partner step aside from his important role of supporting the mother. Rather a doula will offer additional support, and offer the partner a break if needed. While the partner is talking to the mother, soothing her, or helping her cope the doula can give comfort and help relax the laboring mother. Think of her as an additional set of hands there to help. She can also be the partner's back up and support. During a long labor she can take the reins while he leaves to get something to eat, use the bathroom, or check on other children. Ensuring that the mother is never alone during this important event.

The doula can also keep the mother's wishes held firm. A partner might become frightened by the mother's sounds and movements during labor. Sometimes partners do not want to see the mother in pain and try to talk her into a procedure that she might not want in an attempt to ease the pain or speed the labor. A doula can gently remind both mother and partner of what their original plan was and why they chose such, and can reassure the partner that what is happening is normal.

My goal as a doula is to provide a safe, calming environment where a woman can have the most positive birthing experience possible.  No matter what the style of birth, be it natural, cesarean, premature etc.  I want to help you see and feel the true beauty of giving birth.


Empowering women through the beauty of childbirth.