What is a Birth Doula?
A birth doula provides physical, emotional and informational support to you and your family through labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period. For example, a doula is able to help you and your partner with comfort measures such as massage and pressure, visualization and breathing, hot and cold packs, position changes, and bringing you water to drink and a cool cloth for your forehead. A doula is a calm, experienced, caring presence throughout your entire labor and delivery. She will not leave your side unless you request it. A doula is knowledgeable about the stages and phases of labor including labor variations and complications and common medical interventions, policies and procedures. She provides non-judgemental, unbiased information. A doula provides a hand to hold, words of encouragement and the wisdom of experience. She has been there before and she is not afraid.
A doula does not provide medical care for you or your baby. Her support complements and is in addition to the support of your health care providers. A doula does not replace or overshadow the support of your husband, partner or other loved ones present. A doula helps your loved ones help you. A doula does not offer her opinion or advice, just information to help you decide what is best for you, your baby and your family. A doula’s role is to help you have a safe, satisfying birth experience as you define it.