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.

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