Birth Doula FAQ's
What is a Doula?
A doula is an experienced, non-medical assistant who provides physical,
emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care, during childbirth and
during the postpartum period.
My goal is to provide the personal, attentive care that most women desire
during their prenatal, labor and birth experiences, including the postpartum
period. I provide continuous physical comfort measures, evidence-based and
emotional support and promote communication between parents and care providers.
I share my knowledge, experience, and community resources so that you as
expectant parents can have the birth experience that you desire.
Why hire a Doula?
A doula is nurturing. Experienced with specialized massages specifically used
to reduce the pains of labor when and where it is needed. Help with
visualizations to get you in a relaxed state to remain calm and in control.
Offering advice for changing positions when appropriate.
The most important aspect of having a doula is the preparation you are able
to do with her before you ever have a contraction. The prenatal meetings are
designed to give you as much information as possible so you can make informed
decisions about your options for preparing for and delivering your baby. During
this time, we establish a level of trust with each other and a sense of safety
and reliability. This is done so that when you call for assistance during labor,
I can relieve your tension and bring a peaceful presence to the surrounding
environment upon arrival. Another benefit doulas bring is that you don’t have to
feel embarrassed with anything you do during labor. A doula is not your mother,
sister, or friend so you don’t have to have any inhibitions with me. Doulas have
seen it all, so you can feel comfortable going into labor mode to do what you
must do in order to bring your baby into the world.
What kind of training does a doula have?
I am certified through DONA International, which has the highest
certification standards for Doulas worldwide. Achieving certification is a
process that requires considerable time and effort. Typically this can take up
to a year or more to complete.
My partner/ sister/ mother will be with me, what more can a doula
do than my own family?
The people you love and
trust the most should absolutely be present if this is something you feel
strongly about! However, keep in mind that people in the room have not been
trained in labor support. They might be holding your hand and encouraging you,
but most mothers need much more than that.
A doula’s job is not to replace but to reinforce and guide a partner as they
work with the mother through labor and childbirth. I highly encourage the
partner to get involved in the pregnancy and the birthing process. A doula is
another member of your birth team, and supports everyone in their own role.
Their presence often helps partners participate at their own comfort level;
showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing
information, and looking after them as well. Partners are often grateful to be
able to share the “coaching” responsibility with someone more experienced, and
can therefore enjoy the birth experience more themselves. Studies have shown
that having a doula can improve your relationship that lasts well after the baby
Benefits of Doulas:
50% reduction in cesarean rate
The American Academy of Family Physicians encourages the use of doulas
because [they] decrease the need for pain medication, which in turn increases
breastfeeding success rates. The American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists encourages the use of doulas because their use lowers cesarean
section rates in hospitals.
(Source:Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus: Mothering the