What is a doula?
Originating from the Greek word doulē , doula translates to "female servant or helper". A doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides unconditional, continuous, caring support to a mother during labour. Throughout history, woman have always been present during childbirth, alongside the midwife was the support person, the woman who helped the mother through continuous comfort and reassurance. Doulas are trained professionals who offer non-medical assistance, emotional and physical support, coupled with unbiased advice and referrals throughout pregnancy, during labour and postpartum.
Why hire a doula?
The doula's goal is to help you achieve the best birth possible, one which leaves you feeling satisfied and positive about your birth experience. A doula is also a support person for your partner; being there allows them to take breaks without worry and frees them up to provide the emotional support you need from them. Having a doula present at your birth can reduce the chance of cesarean by 50%, use of oxytocin (Pitocin) during labour by 40%, and requests for pain medication by 30%. Having a doula present has also been shown to shorten labour by 25%. Breastfeeding outcomes can be improved with a doula, with studies indicating that mothers with doula present during labour were more likely to breastfeed past one month. A doula can help maintain a safe environment for both the mother and her family; she can answer you questions and help you find the right people to talk to. While she won't speak on your behalf, she will help empower you so you have the strength and courage to get the best for yourself and your baby.