tour guide to labor land, wise friend, hip-squeezer, calm space creator, advocate, sister with all the right skills
What is a doula?
A doula is a non-medical assistant, trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the pregnant person and their partner, during and just after childbirth.
Throughout history, birthing people all over the world have been supported during childbirth by their community. A person going through labor and birth could depend on these other wise community members for encouragement, back rubs, advice, and emotional support. The role of doulas now is based on this ancient tradition of support and care.
What do doulas do?
Doulas are experienced in providing tried and true comfort measures specific to labor. These can include suggestions for changing positions, vocalization, rhythmic movement, guided relaxation with breathing and/or visualization, and specialized massage for labor. A doula also helps families gather important information before and during labor so they are completely informed about all their options and can feel confident about their decisions.
The most valuable thing a doula offers is continuous emotional support. This comes in the form of verbal encouragement and reassurance, a constant physical presence, and full trust in your power and ability to birth.
The birthing parent's partner always plays the most important role in loving and caring for them through the labor and birth journey. As doulas, we will be there to help support the partner through the birth journey, modeling specific comfort measures, offering reassurance and a teammate in the big role of labor companion. Birth can be a very intimate event and we know when to step back and give a laboring couple privacy.
Some partners may feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable with such a central role, and that is okay as well. Many partners we have worked with reflect that the presence of a doula, allowed them to show up more fully through the process, knowing there was always someone there to lean on.
Many families have a whole birthing team, including friends, mother, sister, grandmother, father, etc. Whoever you want as part of your birth team will be honored and welcomed. We will all work together to ensure that you feel joyful and well supported through your journey.
What the research says
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use one.”
- John H. Kennell, MD
“I knew she was there and she just melted into the action, whispering in my ear, reminding me at every turn how strong I was and simply that I could do it.”
- A new mother, speaking of her doula