A Birth Doula is a trained pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support person. We work with you throughout your pregnancy to answer your questions, get to know your thoughts and desires for welcoming your baby to the world. During your pregnancy, your doula meets with you and your partner to teach you comfort techniques, discuss your wishes and fears, provide you with evidence-based information at your request about birth, pregnancy, and the postpartum period. When you go into labour, your doula provides in person support when you ask us to be with you, and we stay with you and your partner at your choice of birthplace until a couple hours after the baby is born, using our skills and knowledge to support your birth, bear witness to your transformation to new parents, and hold space for your birth. Your doula continues to provide support, knowledge, and information in the immediate postpartum period, by helping with infant feeding questions, helping you navigate the transition to a new family, and answering any questions you might have about your new infant and your birth experience.
For all services, I offer a free, no-obligation consultation. I am happy to meet with you and your partner, answer any questions that you have, and get to know you a little bit. Contact me at email@example.com to set up your free consult!
Why would I want a doula?
Isn't that what my partner / the nurse / OB / Midwife is for?
The role of the doula is very different from that of your partner, your nurse, your doctor or your midwife. A doula is a continuous support person for you AND your partner, providing non-medical physical and emotional comfort and support to you both. We work as part of your birth team to help you have an empowered birthing experience. Where your care providers aren't able to be with you exclusively from the time labour begins, your doula can be, and can provide a much needed break for your partner, too.
A doula does not replace a medical care provider, in any way. Doulas are not medical care providers and do not have medical training to deliver babies like a doctor or midwife. That said, some parents do choose to birth without a medical care provider, and some doulas will support unassisted births in a support capacity.
If you are looking to have a home birth, please consider a midwife that provides that service, and possibly adding a birth doula to your birth team.
I do not currently support unassisted or freebirths.
So, if I have a doula do I need a doctor or midwife?
A doula is not for every birthing person or their partners. We all make unique choices, and that is beautiful.
However, a doula can still be a great part of a birth team, if you aren't sure what we can do to enhance your birth. If you aren't sure how a doula can help, or if you or your partner feel a 3rd person will be an imposition, I would love to chat with you more about the role of the doula and how we compliment your medical team and support both the birthing person and their partner without imposing on your unique birth space.
I think I just want me and my partner. My partner doesn't think we need one, and I don't think a doula is for me.
I'm planning a home birth with a midwife. What role would the doula have there? Won't the midwife do all that?
A home birth with a midwife is a wonderful, beautiful experience right in your own home. Yes, your midwife will take care of the medical aspect of your birth, and likely will be providing a lot of non-medical comfort measures, too. You likely will even have two midwives at your birth to do this.
However, the role of your midwife is primarily to provide medical support for you and your baby. There will be times they are unable to provide comfort, as well, and this is where the doula can shine. We compliment midwives, and work as an important part of your birth team.
I am planning to birth in a hospital and want an epidural right away. Why would I need a doula when I won't be in pain?
Every birth is unique, and epidurals can be an excellent tool for coping and sometimes are exactly the right choice for a birthing person. Even if you know you want an epidural or other pain medication right away, a doula can provide valuable comfort until the time comes to get your epidural.
For example, a doula can come to your home in early labour and provide comfort techniques before you head to the hospital. Once you get your epidural, we can still use techniques to help you be comfortable, answer questions, and hold space for you if you need it.
I'm the other parent / birth partner - what does the doula do for me?
As the other parent / birth partner, your role is completely invaluable and your role is special.
The doula knows birth, but you know your partner. Part of the doulas role is to support you, as well, so you can support your partner. Your doula will let you take quick breaks to get a bite to eat or use the bathroom, without leaving the birthing parent alone. Or go take a shower, take a nap, feed your pets if you need to. The doula also helps you to support your partner, by suggesting techniques and teaching skills to comfort them. Doulas make partners look good!
Evidence on & Benefits of Doulas
Evidence Based Birth - Evidence on Doulas
Lamaze International - Adequate Support Infographic
Cochrane Library Continuous Support
DONA International Benefits of Doulas
Childbirth Connection - Research on Doulas