What is a Doula?
The Greek word doula means servant .
A doula is a supportive birth attendant who is trained to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to the birthing person, and their partners, during pregnancy,
throughout labour and birth, and in the postpartum time. Doulas recognize that birth will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life! Doulas are endorsed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, as well as the World Health Organization.
A birth doula...
... recognizes birth as a key life experience, and one that the mother/parent will remember all her/their life
... understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs in labour
... assists the birthing person and partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for birth
Numerous studies have shown that those who experience labour and birth with the presence of a doula are:
28% less likely to have a cesarean section
31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to augment (speed up) labour
9% less likely to use any pain medication
34% more likely to rate their childbirth positively
Childbirth is such an intimate and private experience. Isn't the doula a stranger? Will the doula replace my partner's role?
You will have spent time getting to know your doula well before you give birth. The doula will always remain professional in your home and at your birth place.
Contrary to popular belief, the doula does not replace your birth partner! In fact, a doula can strengthen the birth partner's role by removing some of the pressure on partner in knowing how to support the labouring person.
Doulas respect and honour the fact that childbirth is an intimate experience, and is a time for bonding between the birthing person and her/their partner. The doula knows when to remain in the background, and when to offer guidance and support.
"A doula has intimate knowledge of birth, while your partner has intimate knowledge of you"
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
Doulas do not perform clinical and/or medical tasks.
Doulas have non-medical skills and experience.