What is a Doula?
What does a Doula do?
- Antepartum Doula – assists women who are pregnant and who may or may not be high-risk. The Antepartum Doula specializes in assisting women and families with informational, physical, emotional and practical support, which may include: basic childbirth education, referrals of books, website or support groups, teaching relaxation and massage, bed-rest assistance, sibling care, errands, meal preparation and home care.
- Labour Doula (also known as a “Birth Doula”, “Labour Assistant”, and “Professional Birth Coach”) – assists women and her family before, during and after the birth by providing emotional, physical, and informational support. The Labour Doula assists families in preparing a birth plan, provides information about birth options and resources, facilitates communication between the family and the caregiver (i.e. the OB/GYN, midwife, nurse, etc.) and uses their training and expertise to attend to the labouring mother’s physical and emotional needs, using massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, positioning suggestions, and more.
- Postpartum Doula – assists the new family at home after the birth of the baby/babies. Their services may include: non-medical baby care, childcare tips, meal preparation, household help, sibling care, and errands.
Many Doulas are willing to provide a combination of these services to their clients upon request. I am unique because I offer families continuity of care throughout their entire childbearing experience as an Antenatal, Labour and Postpartum Doula
Does a Doula perform any medical procedures?
Why have an Antenatal Doula?
Do Antenatal Doulas provide transportation for their clients to and from appointments with their care providers?
Why have a Labour Doula?
- A 50% reduction in cesarean rates •A 24% reduction in the length of labour •A 40% reduction in Oxytocin use
- A 30% reduction rate in narcotic use •A 30% reduction rate in forceps deliveries •A 60% reduction rate in epidural use
- Less pressure put on woman’s partner to have all the answers •No being “left alone” because doctors/nurses/midwives are too busy
- Improved breastfeeding •Increased time spent with baby
- Decreased postpartum depression •…and so much more!
- from Mothering the Mother: How A Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus, Phyllis H. Klaus, and John Kennell. NEW YORK: HarperCollins, 1998.