What is a Doula?
What is a Doula?
Doula is a Greek word and traditionally means 'woman servant'.
A Doula provides the continuity of care and support at all times.
A doula provides un-biased, non-medical support and information to mothers and their partners before, during, and after the birth of their baby.
A doula believes in the mother and her ability to follow her instincts, allowing her to birth her baby the way she feels comfortable and without fear, in a safe and supportive environment.
A doula can support you in any birth environment you choose.
Benefits of having a trained Doula
According to research undertaken in the US, Klaus, Kennel and Klaus, authors of Mothering the Mother, "How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth", have identified the benefits of having a doula at your birth:
50% reduction in caesarean rate
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Decreased incidence of postpartum depression
Greater maternal satisfaction
Better mother-infant interaction
What does a Doula Do?
A doula helps you work through your choices for preparing for birth, supporting you & your partner to create a birth wishes document.
A doula can help you work through any anxiety or fears you may have regarding childbirth or becoming a parent.
A doula provides support for birth either at home, in the hospital, or in a birth centre.
A doula will come to you in labour at the point when you feel you need the support the most. This may be early on into the labour or once labour has already established, it is completely your decision when you want your doula to attend!
A doula can help you feel more comfortable in labour by creating a safe space, providing you with physical and emotional support, and non-medical pain relief (e.g hot packs, massage, counter-pressure etc), and provide suggestions for changing positions or moving etc
A doula can hold the space for you in the birthing room, provide physical support or just hold your hand, whatever you need when you need it.
What doesn't a Doula do?
A doula does not perform any medical duties.
A doula doesn’t replace your partner, they will support your partner. A doula can suggest ways your partner can assist you during birth, or can step in when your partner may need a break. This ensures the mother has continuous support during labour and birth.
A doula does not advocate for you, but will help you feel empowered to advocate for yourself.