What is a doula?
The word “Doula” (prounounced doo-lah) comes from the Greek word doule, meaning “handmaiden” or “woman who serves women.” That is exactly the role of a doula: to serve the birthing mother and help her have her desired birth outcome.
A doula is there to meet and anticipate the specific needs of each pregnant mom and her partner. She works to maintain a supportive, relaxing, and empowering environment for the birthing mom, while also providing expertise in the birth process.
What does a doula actually do?
A doula is there to:
- Help you work through any fears or concerns
- Have a shorter, smoother, and more satisfying birth in any setting
- Provide continuous emotional and physical support
- Develop your ability to cope with labor discomfort
- Give information and help you find resources to research your birth choices (before labor)
- Use comfort measures so you have a more relaxing birth
- Enhance (not replace) your partner’s labor support skills
- Provide a follow-up postpartum visit to see if any other questions can be answered or additional breastfeeding help needed
As a doula, I do NOT:
- Perform clinical tasks, such as:
- vaginal exams
- diagnose or treat any medical problems
- interpret diagnostic procedures
- Make decisions for you
- I also do not take any responsibility for the physical/clinical well-being of you and your baby. This is the role of your healthcare provider.
I will help you obtain the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth preferences or plan.