Photos By Chelsea Bootsman Photography
From The ancient greek meaning “woman who serves”
Today, it is used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother (and her partner if she has one) before, during and just after birth.
Also used to describe a trained and experienced professional who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
A Doula is not “like a midwife”
A Doula does not and is not qualified to perform any medical procedures including, but not limited to cervical checks, blood pressure checks, fetal heart rate monitoring, delivering/catching the baby etc. A Doula is NOT and does NOT replace a Health Care Provider such as a Midwife or OB.
How DOulas IMpact Birth (cited from evidence based birth)
- 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
- 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
- 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
3 Pillars of doula support
Informational Support – Avoid Google. Ask your Doula.
I can help keep you and your partner informed through each milestone of your pregnancy and postpartum journey. I can also help you find evidence based information about different options in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. A Doula is an unbiased resource. NEVER a source.
Emotional Support – Your emotions and fears deserve attention.
A Doula is a continuous comforting presence offering reassurance and encouragement, showing a caring and empathetic attitude and helping you and your partner work through fears and self doubt about pregnancy and birth. Debriefing after birth is another way a Doula can support you emotionally.
Physical Support – Facilitating the birth of your dreams.
A short list of ways a Doula can support you physically is as follows:
- Massage/counter pressure
- Position changes and suggestions for optimal labour progression
- Assisting with a TENS machine
- Create a calming environment (lights, curtains, etc)
- Aroma Therapy
- Water therapy (bath, shower)
- Hydrating and feeding birther
- Hands on infant feeding support
Whatever you need to feel physically comfortable and supported in birth, a Doula can assist you with!
Doulas and Partners
As your Doula, it is NOT my job to replace your partner or other birth support person! My Job is to educate, emotionally and physically support partners to empower them to support mothers through the birthing process.
How do Doulas Support Partners?
- Prenatal Education about the birthing process
- Helping them work through their own fears or apprehensions
- Facilitating conversations with the two of you
- Teaching them Pain management techniques
- Ensuring they are fed and hydrated
- Reassurance and Comfort during the birthing process
- Education about how to support a mother in the postpartum period.