What is a Doula?
A doula is someone experienced in childbirth and early days of parenting who can provide you with continuous support before, during, and after birth. Doula, (pronounced Doo-la) comes from a Greek word that means
“a woman who serves”.
A doulas role consists of :
Offering emotional, physical and
For labour & birth, offering comfort measures: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning & massage.
Supports you to make informed choices.
Protects your birthing environment and the early days of parenting.
Supports your partner enabling them to participate more comfortably
It’s also important to understand what doulas do NOT do. Doulas are NOT medical professionals. We do not perform clinical tasks. We do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions. We do not judge you for decisions that you make. We do not let our personal values or biases get in the way of caring for you. We do not take over the role of your partner. We do not deliver the baby. We do not change shifts.
How is the Doula's role different from a birth partner's role?
A doula’s role is very different from that of a birth partner, instantly dispelling the myth that doulas replace or push aside the partner. Birth partners come in many varieties. Husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, mum, auntie, sister or friend and sometimes no birth partner at all. They may have little or no knowledge about birth, medical procedures, or what goes on in a hospital. Asking your partner to be your sole provider of emotional, practical and physical support during labour and birth is like asking them to be your tour guide in Timbuktu, even though they have never been there before and don’t speak the language. Doulas work alongside your partner providing support for them too, reassuring them along the way. Doulas can look after the practical side of things freeing the birth partners up to concentrate on the role of offer support and comfort to you. Think of it as building your “dream team”. Support, encouragement, strength, knowledge and love from all sides, all working to help you to achieve a positive birth experience.