What is a Doula?

The word doula comes from ancient Greek that means “woman’s servant”.

Doulas are trained, non-medical professionals who provide emotional, practical and informational support during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

They provide education with evidence-based information, judgement free support, companionship and mother emotional help.

Emotional support: I offer continuous support to you and your partner (if applicable). My goal is to take care for the emotional wellbeing and enhance your ability to have a positive birth experience. I will offer reassurance, encouragement, a caring and judgement free attitude, I will listen to your concerns.
Practical support: I will assist you in creating a calm, comfortable space for your birth, I can make you drinks and snacks or help look after older siblings. I will support you with massages, in applying hot or cold washcloths, or run you a hot bath, if you wish.

Informational support: I will provide evidence-based information. Will keep you and your partner informed on what’s going on during labour, suggest techniques (such as breathing movement, positioning, relaxation).

Helping explain medical procedures before, or as they happen.
Guiding the birthing person and their partner through labour.
I support all kinds of parenting styles and different kinds of births, such as homebirths, hospital births, birth centres births, caesarean section births or physiological births.

Doulas can also help friends and family members on how to best support the new parents.
Unlike midwives, doulas always stay the same, through labour and birth – although sometimes we work in shared care, with another doula, but this is usually agreed in advance.

I will support and respect your decisions, whatever they are.

Research has shown the benefits of having a doula. Having a doula by your side can:

  • Reduced risk of Caesarean birth.
  • Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth.
  • Reduced rate of induction of labour.
  • Shorter labour.
  • Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience.
  • Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding.
  • Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks.

From the Doula UK Website:

Research tells us that new parents who are supported by a doula, are more successful in adapting, than those who don’t.
Having a postnatal doula can:

  • Minimise the likelihood of exhaustion, due to lack of rest and anxiety.
  • Improve the ability to interpret the baby’s needs and improve the confidence in attending to the baby’s needs.
  • Improve intake of nourished foods.
  • Improve quality time for the new family.
  • Reduce likelihood of prolonged recovery period.
  • Reduce healing period for internal bruising, tears or stitches.
  • Increase breastfeeding success.
  • Increase self-confidence.
  • Reduce postnatal depression.
A Cochrane review concluded that:

“Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the woman’s own network, is experienced in providing labour support, and has at least a modest amount of training (such as a doula), appears beneficial.

In comparison with having no companion during labour, support from a chosen family member or friend to increase women’s satisfaction with their experience. “

Get in touch