My role as a birth doula is to provide physical and emotional support that will allow you and your family to become stronger as a whole during pregnancy, birth and beyond. I will provide to you evidenced based information to help you make your own decisions. A doula’s ability to help a mother feel calm, confident, reassured and in control of her birthing experience enables a more positive birth overall. It creates a birth that is inspiring and helps a woman tune into her instincts and feel confident during the birthing process.
A doula is not only there for the birthing woman but also for her partner. She is not there to replace but rather assist and can help relieve them of the full responsibility of the woman. My goal is to provide a presence that allows your partner to rest, take bathroom breaks and refuel without ever leaving you alone. Many partners have fears or concerns about a mother going through this birthing experience and I will be there to help make suggestions, address those fears and concerns and continue to reassure and keep you and your partner calm during the birth.
As a Doula, I do not:
- Perform any clinical tasks such as checking your blood pressure, vaginal exams, fetal heart monitoring, etc.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you collect the necessary information for you and your family to make informed decisions.
- Speak to staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, however, you or your partner will speak directly to the staff on hand.
- Project any of my own beliefs onto your experience. This is your birth and you get to choose how to do it. Whether that means un-medicated, medicated, home, birth center or hospital birth, midwife or OB. I am your doula and I support you in your birth choices 100%.
- Women who have Doula support, report having a more positive childbirth experience. Other studies have shown that having a Doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of pitocin by 40%, and requests for an epidural by 60%.
- Women who have received continuous support from a Doula are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to request any form of pain medication.
- Having a Doula at your birth reduces your chances for birth interventions such as forceps and vacuum extractions and c-sections.
- In a 2012 survey that took place in the U.S., 6% of birthing people said they used a Doula during childbirth (Declerq et al., 2013), up from 3% in a 2006 national survey (Declerq et al., 2007). Of those people who did not have a Doula but understood what they were, 27% would have liked to have a Doula.
- Labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth when a Doula was present for birth.
Visit Evidence Based Birth for additional information about doula’s.