What is a Doula?


What is a Doula?

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and/or after birth.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

What is a Bereavement Doula do?

A Bereavement Doula is a doula specifically trained in supporting mothers through all types of pregnancies and deliveries.  Bereavement support includes families currently misscarring, Adoption, surragocy, a baby with known serious or fatal fetal diagnosis, live births after a loss.


What does a Doula Do?

A Doula….
•Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
•Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
•Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
•Stays with the woman throughout the labor
•Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
•Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
•Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
•Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level

What are the Benefits of a Birth Doula*

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

Birth Doulas:
  • Results in shorter labors (especially first time labor) with fewer complications
  • Reduces the need for interventions
  • Creates positive feelings of one’s childbirth experience
Research has shown that parent’s who receive the continuous support of a doula:
  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Increased Mother/Infant interaction
  • Better breastfeeding outcomes
  • Decreased post natal depression and anxiety
*Visit DONA International for references and further information.