The word Doula means "a woman who serves". Throughout history, women have been giving birth with the support of other experienced women. Which is exactly what a Doula is. The distinction between a Doula and a clinical birth professional is simple: midwives and OB-GYNs provide intermittent medical care before, during, and immediately after delivery, while Doulas exist as a constant support system for the pregnant parent they are serving. A Doula's focus is on prenatal, labor, loss and the postpartum experience. We are trained to provide emotional, physical, and educational support to families during the perinatal process.
I am thrilled to offer my services during the most exciting time in your and your family's lives! As a little girl, I dreamed of helping women bring their babies into the world. I was able to attend my mother's delivery of my younger brother when I was 15 and what a magical deeply impactful experience it was! After attending more births and working closely with pregnant private yoga clients, I knew it was the right time to become a professional birth & beyond Doula.
Doulas do not, nor are they trained to, provide medical support or care. They are responsible for continuous comfort and emotional care, as well as answering any relevant questions for the pregnant person and their partner if they have one. The Doula's primary mission is to highlight choice, offer education, and be a beacon of calm for the family through the process at large.
What does a Doula do?
A birthing Doula’s role is to help you have a positive and safe birth experience. During the months before birth, a Doula can help you create a birth plan that’s right for you. She will also teach you how to advocate for yourself during labor. This is especially wonderful if you need to or want to labor in the hospital where you’re unlikely to have a close relationship with your medical team.
A birth Doula also helps with:
- Breathing techniques
- Relaxation techniques
- Laboring positions
- Massage for comfort
- Making sure you eat and drink enough
- Letting you know when it’s time to go to the hospital or birthing center (if necessary)
What are the benefits of having a Doula?
Many studies have shown that the addition of a Doula to a woman’s birth team can benefit the mother in numerous ways. A Cochrane review updated in 2012 compiled data from 22 trials of 15,000 women whose birth experiences included women who had different kinds of continuous support during labor or none at all.
Women who had continuous support, especially from a Doula, were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, c-sections, or negative feelings about childbirth.
Other benefits include:
- Increased chance of a positive childbirth experience
- Higher breastfeeding success rate
- Better maternal self esteem
- Lower blood pressure during labor
- Less pain experience.
If interventions are medically necessary, a Doula can help support the mother emotionally so she can have a positive birth experience despite changes in her birth plan. She also can find ways to make it more natural in the midst of interventions.