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What is a doula?

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

(1 minute read)

A doula is a professional birth assistant who provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner throughout the childbearing period: fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

In labor and delivery, a doula might offer:

  • Attention to physical comfort through techniques such as touch, massage and conscious breathing

  • Emotional reassurance, comfort and verbal encouragement

  • Information about progression of labor and the postpartum period, including explanations of procedures to support informed consent

  • Assisting in clear communication between you and the hospital staff

  • Guidance and support for birth support team members

  • Assistance with breast-feeding

Outside of the birthing room, doulas may serve as a secondary advocate, support person, and wellness informant throughout the fourth trimester (postpartum) and assisting those who are seeking to conceive (fertility), and those processing a loss.

Some studies have shown that continuous support from doulas during childbirth might be associated with:

  • A decreased use of pain relief medication during labor

  • A decreased incidence of C-sections

  • A decrease in the length of labor

  • A decrease in negative childbirth experiences

Reference: MayoClinic

A doula DOES NOT provide medical advice, nor does she change the clinical recommendations of a midwife or an obstetrician gynecologist.

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