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