What is a birth doula and Why do I want one?
A doula is a trained labor support professional. They offer you continuos emotional and physical support through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Doula is a greek word that means "a woman who serves". You're doula will most likely be the only person, other than your partner if present, who is with you throughout the entire labor and birth process. Not only will she be present but she is someone in an unknown environment that you know and are comfortable with.
The benefits of this continuous support are invaluable. Every woman should have a doula!
Woman that hire a doula are:
Here is a link to a recent Cochrane Review of Continuous support for women during childbirth and an article "The Evidence for doulas":
You may also ask yourself if your partner will be there why should you have a doula?
Many people have this concern. By no means does a doula take the place of a partner. She is present to encourage a connection between the couple, offer suggestions to the partner, and to complete the birth team. Remember, this is most likely your partners first time in this situation. Why not have someone with experience lending a helping hand?
Dads and Doulas
What is Support?
Support is unconditional.
It is listening
Not judging, not telling your own story.
Support is not offering advice
It is offering a handkerchief, a touch, a hug...caring.
We are here to help women discover what they are feeling
Not to make the feelings go away.
We are here to help a woman identify her options
Not to tell her which options to choose.
We are here to discuss steps with a woman
Not to take the steps for her.
We are here to help a woman discover her own strength
Not to rescue her and leave her still vulnerable.
We are here to help a woman discover she can help herself
Not to take that responsibility for her.
We are here to help a woman learn to choose
Not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices
~ Anonymous ~
Caregivers Mantra as shared by Penny Simkin:
"I will not leave you alone, I will not let you suffer, You can not hurt my feelings"