Birth Doulas

  • Recognize birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assist the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • Stay by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
  • Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective point of viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • Facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers
  • Perceive their role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience

Information obtained from DONA International

Doulas are carefully trained professionals who can help a mother to realize that her birth experience is the most natural thing in the world, despite the unfamiliar changes and reactions of her body. The doula's familiar face and wisdom might be just the tonic that birthing women need (Jackson, With Child).

Doulas have assisted women in birth since the beginning of time. The word "doula," means "woman caregiver", an ancient Greek term referring to the most valued and trusted birth companion. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth"

(Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother).

Need stats?

  • 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in the epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in Pitocin use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

Information obtained from studies recorded in Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).