I became a doula after attending the birth of my nephew in 2007. I saw how important it was for a family to be supported and held during such an emotional and vulnerable experience. After being formally trained and volunteering at other births, I have also discovered the importance of bearing witness to a woman as she realizes her immense power. I believe every family deserves to bring their baby into the world feeling supported, seen, cared for and listened to.
What Does a Doula Do?
The term ‘Doula’ means, “A woman who serves.” She is responsible for providing support in childbirth and information on what to expect and how to create the physical and psychological atmosphere for a healthy beginning.
DONA International highlights these important aspects of a Doula’s role:
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level