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What is a Doula?


The Greek word "doula" means woman caregiver. A doula is a professionally trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, spiritual and informational support to the mother before, during and after birth. Doulas nurture and provide continuous support to the birthing person throughout labour and birth, no matter what decisions the mother makes or how she gives birth. A doula provides knowledge, skills and tools for not only the mother but for her support partner as well if present. A Doula can help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.




What is a Birth Doula?


A Birth Doula...

  • Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth, and the emotions needs of a woman in labour
  • assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • stays by the side of the labouring women throughout the entire labour
  • provides emotional support, physical comfort measure, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the women in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • facilitates communication between the labouring woman and her partner and clinics care providers
  • perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.




What is a Postpartum Doula?


A Postpartum Doula...

  • Provides care to a family with a newborn baby
  • Provides evidenced-based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.




What are the benefits of having a Doula?


Studies have shown that with a doula present: 25% labours are shorter, 60% reduction in epidural requests 50% reduction in cesareans 40% reduction of oxytocin use 40% reduction in forceps and vacuum




What is NOT included in doula support?


  • I do not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal exams or fetal heart monitoring
  • I do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions
  • I do not Speak to the staff on your behalf
  • I do not make decisions for the client (medical or otherwise)
  • I do not project any of my own beliefs onto your experience.
  • I do not take over the role of the partner




How does a doula work with your partner?


The role of the doula is never to take the place of partners in labour, but rather to complement and enhance their experience. By having a doula as a part of the birth team, the partner is free to do whatever they choose. Doulas can encourage partners to use comfort techniques support their partner emotionally during labour and birth and to also enjoy the experience without the added pressure of trying to remember everything they learned in childbirth class!