A birth doula.....
... recognizes birth as a key life experience that a woman will remember all her life.
... understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
... assists the laboring woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
... provides emotional support, physical comfort, and an objective viewpoint. She advocates for her birthing client in order to get the information she needs to make informed decisions.
... understands her role as one who nurtures and protects her client's birthing experience and memories.
... does not perform any medical/clinical procedures nor does she make decisions for her client.
*The Benefits of Hiring a Doula:
"In hospitals where intervention rates (epidurals, pitocin and cesarean deliveries) were very high, doula care lowered the intervention rates."
Women who have the support of a doula experienced more positive outcomes immediately after birth, as well as 4 to 8 weeks postpartum, than those without doulas in the following areas:
- mother-baby interaction
- high self esteem, low anxiety and postpartum depression
- a higher feeling of satisfaction with their birth experience
* "Benefits of a Continuous Doula", Penny Simkin