The word Doula comes from Greek origins and refers to a woman who personally serves another woman. Today Doula is now used in reference to an experienced woman providing emotional and physical support to a mother pre-natal, during labor, birth and postpartum.
Doulas are trained to attend to the emotional and physical comfort needs of laboring women. They do not do clinical tasks or medical procedures, but can use massage, aromatherapy, positioning suggestions and movement to help labor progress.
A labor support Doula joins a laboring woman either at her home or in hospital and remains with her until a few hours after the birth. In addition to emotional support, Doulas work as advocates of their client’s wishes.
What a Doula Provides
- Explanations of medical procedures and interventions
- Emotional support
- Exercise and physical suggestions to make pregnancy & childbirth more comfortable
- Help with preparation of a birth plan
- Massage and other alternative pain relief measures
- Positioning suggestions during labor and birth
- Partner support
- Help with breastfeeding preparation and beginning
- Presence during entire labor and afterwards as long as is needed by parent(s)