What Is A Doula?

Here’s a short clip to give you a bit of an idea.

A doula recognises birth as a key life experience and has undergone training to understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women and their partners during this time.

A birth doula ‘blankets’ the woman or couple so that they can focus on birthing their baby. She offers continuous, emotional and practical support to women, their partners and their families during pregnancy, birth and early parenthood and also provides an objective viewpoint, and information to aid decision making.

So,  whilst a doula isn’t there to actively change outcomes, her nurturing patience, expertise and commitment to childbearing women and their partners can help women to have a safe and satisfying birth experience.

runningRecent studies indicate that a natural by-product of this type of support is better outcomes for babies and their mothers: shorter, more comfortable labours, fewer complications and greater maternal satisfaction.

There are reasons why this happens – see the Links page for an article written by Dr Sarah Buckley which explains really well the role of hormones during labour, birth and breastfeeding and how the environment (including those present) really impacts on those hormones performing optimally.

Whatever path your birth takes, a doula’s role is to look-after and protect the parents’ memory of birth.  She does not replace the woman’s partner or care providers.

A doula does: support your instincts and choices, provide continuity of care, offer evidence-based research and information

A doula doesn’t: push any particular birth method, make decisions for you or exclude your birth partner.

Does it matter to you if you know the person who looks after you in labour? If  it does, why?  If you could choose to have the support of someone knowledgeable who you knew and trusted would you choose this option?

If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ please have a look through my website, there are some interesting research-based links and a bit about me and what I can offer.

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