What is a Doula?

hospital birth with doula

mom supported by doula during a hospital vbac

The word “doula” is an ancient Greek word meaning “woman’s servant”.  A doula is a non-medical person who provides continuous emotional, physical, and spiritual support to a woman before, during, and after childbirth. A doula is someone who explains options and supports a woman in her choices before, during, and after childbirth.  She helps manage pain through comfort measures.  A doula complements the care provided by the woman’s partner and birth attendants. A doula protects and nurtures the memory of the birth experience because she understands the impact birth has on a woman’s life.

Benefits of continuous doula support in labor:

  • Reduction of epidural use by 16%
  • Reduction in forceps and vacuum extractor deliveries by 32%
  • Reduction in cesarean deliveries by 21%
  • Reduction in length of labor
  • Reduction in oxytocin augmentation (use of Pitocin) by 71%
Why would someone hire a doula?
By providing continuous support through labor, delivery and postpartum a doula is an invaluable tool during this important time in a woman’s life.  Based on the results of 11 different trials surrounding doula use, women who hired a doula were more satisfied with their birth experience and had more positive outcomes with breastfeeding and maternal infant interaction.  Women who hired a doula experienced less postpartum depression, anxiety and an increased self-esteem and confidence. Click here to read feedback from women who hired a doula.
Want more information? Contact me for a free consultation. I would love to talk to you about your birth options!
What do dads think about doulas? Click HERE to read about dads and doulas.


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