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What is a Doula? 

A doula is a childbirth professional who is trained to support you before, during, and shortly after your birth. A doula is there to provide you with emotional, educational, and physical support throughout your pregnancy, labor/delivery and early postpartum.

A doula can be beneficial if you are planning natural childbirth, plan to use pain medication or even having a planned cesarean. 

What is the difference between a Doula and a Midwife? 

Most midwives have an educational background in labor and delivery and are trained to provide you with medical care. A doula, is knowledgeable on pregnancy and childbirth, but does not provide you with any type of medical care such as vaginal exams, monitoring your baby's heart rate, and catching your baby.  


What does a Doula do?

Most of the time the relationship with your doula starts at least a few months before your due date. During that time you (and your partner if one is present) will meet once or twice to discuss your birth plan, pain management options, and how you would like to utilize her services during labor. You can also address any fears, questions, or concerns about the entire childbirth process. And discuss ways your partner can help and be as involved as they feel comfortable. If you are unclear on weather you are in labor or not, a doula is there to help decipher true labor signs and when to call the midwife or head to the hospital. 

  • Provide encouraging words - We are there for you! 

  • Help with pain management- through physical movement, breathing techniques, and a calming presence. We can also make suggestions to your partner on how they can help you manage your pain and become part of the experience as well.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety - your doula can use counter pressure and massage to help alleviate any tension and help you relax. A doula can also help reduce your overall stress and anxiety leading up to birth, having someone you trust and that has the education can really set your nerves at ease. 

  • Help you make informed decisions- your doula is your advocate. She wants you to have a positive and informed birth experience. Should complications arise, your doula can help you obtain educational information and make an informed decision by understanding the benefits and risks of each. 

  • Aid with breastfeeding- after delivery many doulas stay 1-2 hours after birth and can assist with initial breastfeeding. She will leave whenever you are comfortable and ready to have time with your new family.  

What are the Benefits of Having a Birth Doula?

Having a doula present at your birth is very powerful. Doulas work hard to make sure you have a safe and comfortable birth. Research demonstrates how the power of continuous support in labor:

  • Reduces rates of cesarean sections

  • Reduces length of labor

  • Reduces the need for pain medicine

  • Increases breastfeeding and enhances bonding

  • Gives your birth partner (husband, boyfriend, mother, friend, sister etc.) a break. Labor can be long and it is nice to always have someone by your side

  • More positive childbirth experience

Will My Partner Feel Left out if We Hire a Doula?

On the contrary! In fact, your partner will understand from the prenatal meeting(s) how to be more involved and things they can do to help you in the birth process. Doulas actively promote participations from family members if they feel comfortable to do so.  A doula should never replace your partner's role during childbirth. Your partner knows you best and just their presence alone can go a long way in helping you feel comfortable and supported throughout labor. The doula is their to help reassure your partner as well and takes some weight off their shoulders when the big day arrives. 

" Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers- strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength."

-Barbara Katz Rothman, PhD

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