What is a Doula


"doula" is the greek word for 'female servant', a woman who supports others through major life experiences. A birth doula is professionally trained in childbirth to provide emotional, physical, educational and spiritual support to a birthing woman in pregnancy, birth and beyond. 


  

The doula’s purpose is to support the birth giver to have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience. 

 

In the role of a doula we honour and...

  • Recognise that birth is a key life experience (‘rite of passage’) that the birth giver will remember for all of her life.
  • Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labour.
  • Assist the birth giver and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
  • Support the birthing woman/couple to access the information they need to make conscious choices.
  • Hold space for the labouring mother throughout the entire labour.
  • Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective view and spiritual connection.
  • Facilitate communication between the labouring mother, her partner and clinical care providers.
  • Encourage the birth giver’s partner to participate at their comfort level.
  • Perceive the role as one who nurtures and protects the birthing mother’s memory of their birth experience. 

Statistics that support the attendance of a doula at your birth...

 

Benefits during birth

51% reduction in Caesarean rate

25% shorter length in labour

60% reduction in epidural requests

40% reduction in Syntocinon use (synthetic oxytocin)

35% reduction in analgesics (pain relief medication)

40% reduction in forceps/vacuum deliveries

 

Long Term benefits

Improved success with breastfeeding

Increased time with baby and easier bonding

Increased maternal satisfaction

Reduced Post natal Depression (PND)

[“How a Doula can help you have a shorter, easier and healthier birth” - Klaus, Kennel & Klaus (USA)]

 

This information was taken from the notes that I received in the Celebration of Birth course with Anna Watts, 2017

Thank you to Anna for her generosity of heart and information to support us in this quest.