Supporting Women through
Pregnancy and Birth and Beyond
What is a Doula?
The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the laboring person and family before, during and just after birth.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor
Assists families in preparing for and carrying out their plans for birth
Stays with the parents throughout the labor
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the family get the information they need to make informed decisions
Allows the laboring person’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level