What is a doula?
Function: n: a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth
"In spite of all the modern obstetrical methods to speed up labor - which include the artificial rupture of membranes, augmentation of the strength of contractions with oxytocin, and the use of forceps or delivery by cesarean section - the mothers with the shortest labor in our study were again those women who had a doula present throughout their labor." -Mothering the Mother
"Though a friend can certainly be a labor support person, mothers typically have the best results when they hire a professional labor assistant (…also called a ‘labor support doula’…) who in addition to providing comfort and companionship to the laboring mother, has special obstetrical training…Her knowledge of and experience with birthing, and her sole focus on the mother’s needs, make her a unique, and to our minds, an indispensable part of the hospital birth."
-The Pregnancy Book by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, R.N
“The evidence for doulas comes from more than eleven carefully designed studies: Quite simply, hiring one cuts in half the odds of you having an unnecessary cesarean…In the typical U.S. birthing unit, the doula you bring with you may be the only person whose sole responsibility is to make you more comfortable and to help you labor as effectively as possible.” -Ina May Gaskin
“I chose to employ a [doula] because, after doing my homework I realized there was a missing person in the current maternity system…After talking to other mothers about their deliveries, I realized that many first-time mothers are left alone a lot during delivery and don’t really know how to interpret what’s going on in their bodies. My [doula] was the missing link that I needed to keep me centered on my body and to make it work more efficiently, and I think she saved me a lot of pain-literally.
-Linda Hughey Holt, MD
“You needn’t worry that a doula will replace your partner. A good doula enhances rather than detracts from the father’s participation…Interviewed afterward, fathers uniformly liked have a doula and did not feel that she interfered with their role. Fathers reported that not only did doulas help them help the moms, but many of the doula’s support actions were directed personally at them… Doulas improve physiological and social outcomes.”
-The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
Want to hear why I'm a great doula in particular? 🙂 Read some reviews from a few of my clients here.
Ready to sign up for wonderful pregnancy & labor support? You can contact me through our doula collective - Great Expectations Birth. I look forward to hearing from you!