Q: What is a Labor Doula?
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “Woman’s servant.”   Labor doulas provide information and non-medical support during pregnancy, labor and immediately postpartum.  In a hospital setting, where nurses and care providers have shift changes, doulas provide continuous support to the mother and family.    Doulas are a great information source for any questions that come up during pregnancy and birth.  The doula is a labor coach to both mother and her partner,  encourages self-advocacy, informed choice, and good communication between the family and their care providers.

Q: What are the benefits of having a Doula attend my birth?

       Research indicates that the presence of a doula:

  • decreases the need for cesarean deliveries
  • increases the chances of an unmedicated birth
  • decreases the length of labor
  • decreases the need for other interventions
  • increases the parents' satisfaction with the experience

Q: Does a Doula make decisions for me?

No. A doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their medical care.  Doulas provide informational and emotional support, while respecting a couple’s choices and decisions.

Q: Will a Doula take the place of my partner?

No.  Doulas are supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.   The partner knows the mother best and a doula knows all about childbirth.  Together, the doula and partner make a great support team for mom.

Q: What is a Postpartum Doula?

Postpartum doulas offer education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester.  We assist with newborn care, family adjustment, light meal preparation, and light housekeeping.  We offer evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotion and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and make referrals when necessary.   Rather than take over duties of childcare, like a nanny or babysitter, we help you get acquainted with your new baby and adjust to life with a new addition to your family.

As a Doula, I DO NOT...

  • Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc. I am there to provide only physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
  • Make decisions for you, but I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision and I will also remind you if there is a departure from your Birth Plan.
  • Speak to the staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on our behalf to the clinical staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

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