What is a doula?

A doula is a nurturing guide during pregnancy who provides individual preparation for your unique childbirth experience; she is a hands-on support person throughout labor and birth, providing proven comfort techniques and encouragement for a safer more satisfying birth; she is there for a new family after the birth by providing the care and supportive services in your home when it is most needed.

 

Why use a doula?

A doula “mothers the mother” and in doing so, provides personal care to enhance the experience of childbirth for the whole family. A better birth experience means an easier postpartum time for everyone.

In addition to medical care, and the love and companionship provided by their partners during childbirth, women need continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. A doula is an expert at providing for those needs.

Informed and experienced in pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, doulas provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We work with a woman and her support team so they have a safe and satisfying childbirth and early parenting experience. Doulas can smooth the transitions of a new baby, allowing parents to get more sleep, feed babies more easily, and enjoy their babies peacefully knowing that the household details are taken care of.
 

Numerous clinical studies have found that a professional doula’s presence at birth:

  • Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • Reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • Reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • Reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

 

Research shows parents who receive support, such as that provided by a postpartum doula, often:

  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse