What is a birth doula?
A doula is a professionally trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to families before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help them achieve the safest, most satisfying experience possible.
What does a doula do?
We bring our professional training, experience, and attendance at hundreds of births to your birth.
- Emotional support
- Physical support
- Breathing techniques
- Educational support
- Translate medical terminology/speak
- Relaxation techniques
- Laboring positioning
- Massage and acupressure
- Support for your partner
- Nutritional support
- Facilitate communication between parties
- Support in making decisions like, “When should I go to the hospital?”
- Education on current hospital policy and procedure
Birth doula support can look different for each family. We tailor our care to you and your unique needs.
What does a doula not do?
- We do not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal exams, blood pressures, or fetal heart monitoring
- We do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions
- We do not make decisions for the client (medical or otherwise)
- We do not pressure the birthing person into choices based on a personal agenda
- We do not take over the role of a partner
- We do not catch the baby
How can a doula make a difference in my experience?
The continuous support that doulas provide is not only a good idea- it is scientifically proven to help make a difference in birth and postpartum outcomes! In a 2017 study, researchers found that birthing women who received continuous support were more likely to:
- Have spontaneous vaginal births
- Better APGAR scores for newborns
- Shorter labors
- Higher rates of breastfeeding at 6 months
- Lower postpartum depression risk
- Lower infant and maternal mortality risk
Women who have labor support by a doula are less likely to:
- Use pain medication or epidurals
- Have negative feelings about childbirth
- Manual/manipulated births
There is no evidence of negative consequences of continuous labor support by doulas.
Is a doula different than a midwife?
Yes. We are different parts of the same team. A midwife can provide comprehensive medical care to help make sure you and the baby transition from pregnancy to postpartum safely and as smoothly as possible. They perform tasks like prenatal medical care, vaginal exams, blood pressure readings, fetal monitoring, and more. Doulas provide only non-medical care.
Why work with a pair of doulas?
We work as a team to make sure you, our other clients, and we are well cared for. Working as a team means that whenever you go into labor and no matter the length of your labor, a member of your doula team will be ready to provide you with excellent care!