What is a doula?

The word “doula”- pronounced “doo-la;” is a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver.” A doula refers to a trained professional who offers emotional, physical and practical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in “mothering the mother.” She enables a woman and her partner to have the most satisfying experience possible from pregnancy to motherhood.

A birth doula acts as an advocate for the mother, encouraging and helping her fulfill specific desires she might have for her birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whether an un-medicated birth or a cesarean. Doulas have the ability to provide comfort with pain-relief techniques and provide not only physical and emotional support to the mother but to her partner also.

A postpartum doula provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing, basic newborn care, and more. A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that moms, partners and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place.