What is a Doula?
A woman often experienced in childbirth, who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during, and after childbirth.
A doula calmly and skillfully helps the mother cope with labour using many different techniques.
Understands the physiology of pregnancy and of labour.
A doula is there to help the parents have the type of birthing experience they desire. She supports the mother’s choices within her chosen birth setting.
A doula can explain routine practices and common medical interventions but does not perform any clinical tasks.
Works diligently at gaining the respect of medical staff.
Postnatally, a doula facilitates opportunity to reflect on the birth, discuss early parenthood adjustments, and helps the mother process and re-frame a difficult birth experience.
Studies show that when having a doula, labour is shorter and there are less complications and interventions. Babies are healthier and breastfeed more; mothers have fewer signs of depression and are more satisfied with their birth experience.
(Klaus, M.H., Kennell, J.H., & Klaus, P.H. (2002). The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth (2nd ed.) Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press)
Partners & Doulas
A doula recognizes and appreciates the important role of the mother’s chosen birth partner.
She serves as a guide for the mother’s partner and suggests ways the partner can help.
A doula provides reassurance and support for the partner as well.
A doula allows the mother’s partner to have breaks as needed with the reassurance that the mother is still being cared for continuously.