What is a Doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. There are also postpartum doulas, bereavement doulas, and full spectrum doulas.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labours may be shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and tend to breastfeed more easily.
What do I do?
As your doula I strive to;
- Provide evidence based information
- Recognize birth as a pivotal experience the mother will remember forever and strive to make it the best experience possible
- Understand the physiology of birth, and the emotional or physical needs of the birthing person
- Provide emotional support by listening to the concerns and desires for the birth outcome, support all birth choices and encourage confidence in those decisions
- Provide physical support through the use of comfort measures (position changes, massage, applying hot or cold, shower/tub, etc)
- Provide information and resources to help make informed decisions.
- Facilitate communication between the labouring woman, her partner and her clinical providers
- Encourage the partner to participate at their own comfort level, provide the partner with breaks and support the partner as needed
Limitations of Service
As your Doula, I can not:
- Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, give medical advice, etc.
- Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but your partner and yourself will speak to the clinical staff as needed.
Attend unassisted birth, you must have a care provider present (doctor, midwife)