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What is a Doula?

What is a Doula?

The term “Doula” comes from the Ancient Greek word for “Women Who Serve” or “The Feminine Who Serve.” For centuries, our primal instinct directed us to be nearby our female counterparts during the births of our babies. Virtually, before colonization and mass industrial development, mothers would primarily have other women assisting them through the experience of childbirth. Whether that be their mother, sister, or friend, there was always the support of the feminine presence during the process of this life changing event. When childbirth moved from home to hospital is when the normalcy of being taken care of by other women during labor went missing. 

The Professional Doula Approach resurfaced again in the 1970’s to 1980’s when mothers were reintroduced to the idea of having assistance and support during childbirth. The contribution of support can provide positive reassurance of bonding between mother and baby, father and mother, and between mother and herself. 

The role of a doula is to help women remember her own strength during the birthing process (before, during and after), offer comfort measures, provide emotional support, and assist in maintaining an environment of peace, understanding, and compassion.

Doula’s Do’s & Don’ts

As a doula, I do:

  1. Accompany you  in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. 
  2. Provide emotional support and physical comfort (relaxation and soothing touch, and positioning techniques)
  3. As needed, I will communicate with Hospital Staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor.
  4. Provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner.
  5. Make suggestions for labor progress
  6. I work for you not caregiver or Hospital

As a doula, I do not:

  1. Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others. I am there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support.
  2. Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
  3. Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak directly to any clinical staff. 

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