Doula – pronounced ‘Doola’ – an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in “mothering the mother” – enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience. Doula UK
- Recognises birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labour
- Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
- Stays by the side of the labouring woman throughout the entire labour
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
- Facilitates communication between the labouring woman, her partner and clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
A doula does not…
- Give Medical Advice. In fact, does not give advice of any kind
- Undertake any sort of clinical task or examine birthing women
- Speak to medical professionals for you although will support and discuss options with you
The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants.
“If a Doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it”
~John H Kennel – MD