WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
The origination of the word doula is Greek; meaning servant. A doula is a servant to expectant mothers, their partners and their family. A doula is a highly trained professional in the field of childbirth. They are there to support you and your partner emotionally, physically and informationally throughout your pregnancy journey. A doula will strive to help you and your spouse become more knowledgeable and involved in the pregnancy and labor process. A doula will not take the place of your partner. A doula actually enhances the support that your partner can give you by providing different methods to them that may help you along the way. A professionally trained doula will also have a wealth of knowledge about various relaxation and positioning techniques to make you as comfortable as possible throughout your journey. Research shows that the presence of a doula allows for the mother to be more relaxed and comfortable during the childbirth experience.
The support of a doula is beneficial no matter how you choose to birth your baby; with or without medical interventions, at home, in a hospital, planned/emergency cesarean. Your doula will respect your values and desires for the birth that you want. They will provide unbiased opinions and information regarding many different topics associated with childbirth to help you make the decision you want to make about your pregnancy journey.
An important note to remember is that a doula will not replace your doctor or midwife. They will not perform vaginal checks or heart rate monitoring. A doula will not speak to the doctor on your behalf. A doula will not make a decision on your behalf. A doula will provide you unbiased information on the topic at hand in an attempt to help you make the most informed decision possible.
Every birth is a unique experience and a doula is there to help you and your family get the most from that experience. It is an experience and journey that will never be forgotten.