What is a doula?

The definition of a doula, according to DONA International is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

“Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.”  (https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/)

What do doulas do?

  • Provides emotional support.
  • Use comfort measures: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, etc.
  • Continuously reassures & comforts (the key word is continuous—a doula never leaves your side).
  • Helps you become informed about various birth choices.
  • Advocates for you & helps facilitate communication between you & care provider.
  • Looks after your partner as well.

What won’t doulas do?

  • Doulas are NOT medical professionals.
  • We do not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal exams or fetal heart monitoring.
  • We do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions.
  • We do not judge you for decisions that you make.
  • We do not let our personal values or biases get in the way of caring for you (for example, we should not pressure you into making any decisions just because that’s what we prefer).
  • We do not take over the role of your partner.
  • We do not deliver the baby.
  • We do not change shifts.

(Source: https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/scope-and-ethics/)