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 just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.” – DONA International

Birth DoulasDoulaing

Benefits of having a trained birth doula include:

  • Shorter length of labor
  • Less use or request for pain medications
  • Less inductions and augmentations of labor
  • Fewer assisted deliveries
  • Lower Cesarean rate
  • Increase in successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
  • Doula support has been linked to better parenting and higher satisfaction with outcome of the birth in general
  • Empowerment of the couple about making choices for their well-being
  • Higher satisfaction of their personal accomplishments during labor

What does a birth doula do?

  • A Doula does not interfere with, or replace the support person, but instead works with him/her to create a strong and supportive team.th-3
  • A Doula gives constant support. This allows the support person to take a break, get something to eat, make calls, etc, without worrying about mom being left alone.
  • A Doula helps with relaxation, massage, acupressure, and emotional support. Educational support is also a major factor in keeping the laboring couples calm and informed.
  • If the support person forgets the technique, the Doula refreshes the support person’s memory to enable him/her to be effective for mom.
  • The Doula can be contracted to help moms who may not have a support person available.
  • The Doula helps in significant ways by protecting your experience and advocating for your birth plan.
  • The Doula informs you of options and information concerning your choice of pain relief or change of plan if needed.

How does a doula service work?

Mom/couple set up a meeting with the Doula to become acquainted and discuss your priorities and desires. We will review any childbirth education and design a personal birth plan.

Mom and DoulasOnce contracted, the Doula will be on call as your due date approaches. Constant phone support is available. There will always be a backup Doula on call as well. Because we are a team of Doulas, we can guarantee that you will not be alone.

Once mom is in labor, we are by your side until after the baby’s birth. We stay 1-2 hours after the birth or until mom is comfortable with our leaving. A follow up visit, as well as phone support when needed, completes the service.

We recommend that you interview a few of the doulas. You want to find the right doula for you, and our doulas are very diverse in their backgrounds, life experiences and personalities. Please email or call an assortment of doulas. You can make that first contact by email or phone, set up a ‘meet and greet’ and decide who is the right doula for you! Once you’ve made your decision, you can do a fuller pre-meeting and the personalization of your birth will start at that point.

Additional Resources for information about Birth Doulas

Postpartum Doulas

Postpartum DoulaWhat is a Postpartum Doula?

A doula is a “woman caregiver”: someone who is experienced and trained to help the new mother and family. This very important service provides knowledgeable, caring, and personal support during those first few weeks as new parents.

Click here to learn about our Beautiful Beginnings Postpartum Doulas!

What services does a Postpartum Doula provide?

Physical comfort to the new mother:

  • Helps family to care for her postpartum body
  • Encourages mom or caregiver to eat properly and drink plenty of fluids
  • Allows caregiver to rest when baby is resting or shower and nurture self
  • Support of choice to breast or bottle feed

Emotional support for the new family:th

  • Listens to the story of the birth
  • Validate the normal adjustment process
  • Supports mother through emotional vulnerablity
  • Supports father through transition to new role
  • Supports silblings in their new roles

Guidance in infant care:

  • Supports mom and partner in their feeding choices
  • Gives information on newborn care recommendations
  • Aids parents in developing their own styles of nurturing and bonding with the baby
  • Solutions to common breastfeeding challenges in the first weeks
  • Proper storage of breastmilk and formula
  • Pumping information and guidance

imrsHousehold assistance, if requested

  • Prepare meals and snacks for the new mother and family
  • Cleans & prepares bottles and helps with nursery set-up
  • Runs errands: shops for food, supplies, etc.
  • May do baby laundry or other light cleaning

Postpartum Doulas do NOT:

  • Evaluate mother’s or baby’s medical condition
  • Take over the care of baby
  • Insist new parents care for their baby in any particular style
  • Do heavy housecleaning (mopping, cleaning bathtubs, etc.)

What does this service cost?

Rates according to the doula’s experience and client’s need.

Click here to learn about our DONA Approved Birth Doula Trainings.

For additional information about our Postpartum doulas, visit our sister site, www.NorthCountyDoulas.com

For Postpartum Doula Training, please refer to www.dona.org