What is a Doula? [Podcast 002]

When you drive around with www.enjoybirth.com on the back of your van you get a lot of questions about what you do!

So I get to talk about being a birth doula to people every day.

In todays podcast I explain what a birth doula does and why you should take the time to learn more!

You may want to add a birth doula to your support team.  A doula can start helping you early in your pregnancy by referring you to care providers, birth locations and childbirth classes.  She can also help support you during your pregnancy by answering questions and helping you create a Birth Plan.  During your birth she will be by your side continuously.   She knows about normal birth and can help remind you of your choices as things progress.  She will support you in what you want.

Every Mom should have a birth doula!

The more births I attend, the more I think every mom should have a doula.  Regardless of the type of birth a mom wants, having a trained doula helps her to have the continuous support she needs.


How to find a doula in your area!

Some birth partners are worried that a doula will take their place and then what will they do?  I love this chart by Kim James, which answers the question, “Do Doula’s replace Dad?”  Often after a dad has experienced a doula at a birth, they become the biggest proponent of having one.  I know my husband asked why we didn’t have one for our first two births, after seeing at our third birth what a help doulas can be.  He really felt it took the pressure off of him, and he was still a very active participant.  Having a doula helped him enjoy the birth more!

What do Doula’s DO Exactly?

Doulas provide support to a mother and her family during her birth. We do this in many different ways…

Resource for Comfort Measures

Having a doula is like having your very own talking birthing guide. Doulas not only know what helps during birth, they also know what helps and how to do it. Your doula can either perform these comfort measures herself, or help your family or friends to support you with comfort measures. Your birth partners will feel more confident knowing that they are doing the right thing.

Constant Encourager:

A doula not only encourages the mother to keep going, but she encourages the labor support to keep going as well. The process of labor can sometimes be long. A doula can keep you and your partner focused during the most intense part of labor.

Helps Explain Options:

A doula is also a source of information about ways to handle your birth. Medical attendants don’t always have time to get into all the options available, and rarely give all the risks and benefits for the options they do give. A doula can help you understand what options are available, and what the pros and cons are. This can help you make better informed decisions.

Is it worth getting a doula?

Having a Doula can give you extra support during your birthing time, no matter what type of birth you are planning.

Studies have shown the following benefits of having a doula present at birth:

  • 45% reduction in c-section rates

  • 25% shorter labor

  • 60% reduction in epidural requests

  • 50% reduction in pitocin use

  • 31% reduction in analgesia use

  • 34% reduction in forceps or vacuum deliveries

Women who have used a doula at birth are more satisfied with their births, feel more confident before and after the birth, show a quicker rate of bonding with their newborn, are less likely to have post-partum depression, and more likely to breastfeed.

Having a doula is a wonderful way to help you have an enjoyable birth. Doulas can assist moms in any birthing situation, from moms who want an un-medicated birth, moms who plan on epidurals to moms with planned cesarean births. We do have a special affinity for assisting VBAC moms.

Sharing is caring!