Q: What is a doula?
A: The ancient Greek word "doule" referred to a female servant. By definition a birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support during birth. A doula can help parents make informed choices, provide resources, and facilitate communication with the healthcare team. A healthy uncomplicated birth is a non-medical event and benefits greatly from the non-medical support that a birth doula offers. Here is a link to a short video called "Doula: the Essential Ingredient." It provides a history and description of the role of a doula.
Q: What are the advantages of a doula?
A: Recent reviews of studies have shown that women who have continuous support in labor have:
Q: What about dads?
A: As the one who knows the mother better than anyone else, your presence and support is irreplaceable! You may feel hesitant to consider inviting a stranger to such a private family event as birth. However, a doula's presence can actually facilitate the tender time of togetherness and eliminate the stress and frustration of unmet expectations, fear, and lack of knowledge. After all, supporting a woman in labor is most likely a totally new experience. Doulas understand birth and by helping with massage tips, coaching suggestions, comfort measures, and encouragement, doulas make dads look great!