“My husband is my right hand and my Doula is my left”
A Doula (also called Childbirth Assistants, Labor Coaches, Birth Companion or Labor Support Professionals) is a woman who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support during pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum. Doula comes from the Greek word meaning female servant or women serving other women. Doulas support people through all types of labors and deliveries - medicated, un-medicated, intervention free, induction, c-section (scheduled or emergency), vaginal delivery, assisted delivery, etc.
A Doula does not replace a partner.
Instead, she helps support the partner so that he/she/they can love and encourage the laboring/birthing person. A Doula holds space - offers a safe place for the laboring person. A Doula supports, encourages and advocates. A Doula offers comfort techniques, suggestions for position changes, relaxation techniques, reminders to stay hydrated and eat, a reassuring touch and other resources. Doulas also believe in the birthing person’s ability to birth their baby and helps them trust themself and their body. Birthing people hold the power to birth their babies within themselves. Sometimes a Doula can help a birthing person find that power - but the power has always been in the birthing person.
Doula Rachel, Aug 2018. Shared with permission.
Studies have shown that having a Doula can decrease:
Analgesia or Anesthesia use
Forceps or Vacuum Extractor use
Length of Labor
Incidence of Postpartum Depression
Levels of Anxiety
As well as an increase of:
A more positive birth experience
Higher chance of spontaneous vaginal birth
Having higher regard and increased sensitivity toward baby
**Look here for a great article about the wonderful things that doulas do for families!**