“Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.” (Obstetric Care Consensus, March, 2014)
Today, Doula refers to a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a woman before, during, and immediately after birth.
- is a Greek word meaning “a woman who serves.”
- recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will carry in her heart all her life.
- understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
- assists the woman and her birth partner in preparing and carrying out their vision for birth.
- stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor.
- provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make the best decisions for her and her family.
- facilitates communication between mom, her birth partner, and clinical care providers.
- draws in the woman’s birth partner to participate in the birth experience in whatever capacity the mother and birth partner would like.
At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a doula is there to support the mother, whatever setting she is in, through her labor journey…wherever it may take her.
For reference, and to learn more, check out DONA. Also feel free to check out this short trailer from a documentary on Doulas. 🙂