Birth doulas offer professional labor support to women and their partners. They are an integral part of the birth team and are dedicated to helping families stay with their birth plan. As birth doulas we accompany you during labor, tending to your emotional, physical and informational needs throughout birth. We also provide support and suggestions for your partner or family member that can enhance their experience of birth. How this applies to each woman will vary widely: some women want a gentle, reassuring presence at their birth to help them with breathing and comfort measures… others want a full-blown labor coach to enforce their birth plan… still others just want an extra person on hand to take pictures, coordinate relatives, watch kids and run errands. We don’t go to births with any personal preconceived ideas of how it should unfold; your birth plan is our birth plan. We are there to discover what your wants and needs are, then exceed them in every way possible.

It is also important to understand what doulas do not do:

  • Doulas are not medical professionals
  • They do not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal exams or fetal heart monitoring
  • They do not give medical advice or diagnose conditions
  • They do not judge you for decisions that you make
  • They do not let their personal values or biases get in the way of caring for you (for example, they should not pressure you into making any decisions just because that’s what they prefer)
  • They do not take over the role of your husband or partner
  • They do not deliver the baby
  • They do not change shifts

In research studies most recently done by Evidence Based Birth, when continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced…

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience

6 weeks after birth, mothers who had doulas were:

  • Less anxious and depressed
  • More confident with their baby
  • More satisfied with their partner (71% vs 30%)
  • More likely to be breastfeeding (52% vs. 29%)
No! We are here for your whole growing family as you experience the ups and downs of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.  We are not here to replace any one of you but to add to your team while supporting your decisions in pregnancy to parenthood. A doula’s job is to support you and your partner and anyone else you choose to have close by through labor and those first few days.
We are trained to support women in all birth scenarios. Even if you are planning to use pain medication, considering it, or truly want a natural birth experience, your doula will be an invaluable part of your birth team. Doulas can help you gather all the information you need to make an informed choice about pain medication and give you a realistic picture of how you can expect your labor to change. Just because a woman has pain relief, it does not mean she has stopped laboring or needs less support. Many times the emotional needs of the laboring women are even greater when she has medication. We can also help with positioning and other comfort measures to reduce the negative effects of the medication and will be a key support during pushing which can require more coaching with an epidural. For the 5 to 15 percent of women who do not receive complete pain relief from an epidural, our role becomes even more important in helping the woman to cope with her contractions.

A postpartum doula provides support to the mother and family following the birth of baby. This care can be for a week or for months after the baby arrives. Care includes; but is not limited to