WHAT IS A DOULA?
A DOULA IS A PROFESSIONAL TRAINED IN CHILDBIRTH, WHO PROVIDES EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT TO A MOTHER AND HER PARTNER, DURING LABOR.
MOST OFTEN THE TERM DOULA REFERS TO THE BIRTH DOULA, OR LABOR SUPPORT COMPANION. HOWEVER, THERE ARE ALSO ANTEPARTUM DOULAS AND POSTPARTUM DOULAS. DOULAS CAN ALSO BE REFERRED TO AS LABOR COMPANIONS, LABOR SUPPORT SPECIALISTS, LABOR SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS, BIRTH ASSISTANTS, OR LABOR ASSISTANTS.
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
- Encourages the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
THE DOULA’S PURPOSE IS TO HELP WOMEN AND THEIR PARTNER HAVE A SAFE, MEMORABLE, AND EMPOWERING BIRTHING EXPERIENCE.