A birth doula:
offers continuous physical and emotional support to a woman and her birth partner during labor
assists with breathing and relaxation techniques
suggests optimal laboring positions
provides massage for comfort
helps create an environment in which a woman and her partner feel safe, confident, informed, and at ease
is a resource of information before, during, and after the birth.
Research shows that if a women has another woman with her during labor and birth she has less need for pain-relieving drugs and her labor is shorter.
There are fewer operative deliveries (forceps, vacuum extractor, and Cesarean sections) and episiotomies. Babies are in better condition at birth, and mothers are much more likely to look back on the birth as a positive experience.
from The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
What does a birth doula do?
What is a birth doula?
Doulas are professionals trained in the birth process and postpartum period. They support the woman and her partner during labor and delivery.
Doulas help women and their families carry out their birth plans as much as possible.
Doulas can be especially helpful in hospital births as they are familiar with the hospital setting and can provide advocacy and additional comfort measures.
How do I know if a doula is right for me?
Let your potential doula know your due date to make sure she's available. Then, get to know her to make sure she's a good fit for you.
I encourage women to try a prenatal yoga class with me to get a feel for my personality. I also offer a free 30-min consultation to discuss details.
If you are interested in working together in this capacity or have further questions, please contact me.
I'm ready to hire a doula! What are my next steps?
Research! Ask people who have had the support of a doula for their birth(s). I'm happy to connect you with former clients.
Talk it over with your partner and care provider.
Trust your intuition.