What is a doula?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What is a doula?

What is a doula?

A doula, according to Wikipedia (the knower of all things), is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support.The provision of continuous support during labor by doulas, or nurses, family, or friends, is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.

A doulas role can be as different as the women she works with, depending on what each client hopes to achieve out of their birth experience. Some of the things a doula can provide are:

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  • constant physical and emotional comfort to you during labor
  • assist your partner in providing comfort
  • help you to advocate for yourself by providing information and tools for navigating the decision making process

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It is a doulas job to understand the needs of laboring women, to quickly evaluate emotional and physical changes in the laboring woman and adjust her care accordingly. Sometimes this looks like wrapping her arms around someone, or physically holding them up – and sometimes it looks like standing by, quiet but always there.