What is a Doula?

Doula is a Greek word that means "servant". Today birth doulas are child birth professionals that have extensive training and experience with the normal process of childbirth. They offer emotional and physical support before, during, and after the birth experience. A doula supports the husband/partner in his special role, never taking his place but working with him. 

A doula can offer advice on breathing techniques, physical positions that help labor, comfort techniques, and coping strategies.  She is also well trained in the many choices involved in labor and delivery.  A doula provides no clinical services (blood pressure checks, cervical checks, fetal heart rates, etc.) but is rather there to complement the birth process with your healthcare provider by  providing emotional reassurance and comfort.

Why Do I Need a Doula?

Continuous emotional support during labor in a U.S. hospital
50% reduction in the cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery

A randomized controlled trial.Kennell J, Klaus M, McGrath S, Robertson S, Hinkley C.JAMA 1991 May 1;265(17):2197-201