The word doula translates into “woman who serves”. Historically, women were amongst other women during birth. Somewhere along the lines, this trend was lost, and it is now more common for a woman’s first birth experience to be her own.
Our society is becoming more aware about the positive impact of trained birth companions, and doulas are increasingly becoming a part of the birth team. The World Health Organization states all pregnant woman should have doulas. Doulas focus on providing emotional and physical support to the birthing parent, as well as information, advocacy and support for partners. Doulas don’t play a role in baby-catching, administering or recommending medication or medical procedures.
Doulas are helpful in creating a better environment, focused on the client’s comfort and wellbeing. Doulas can work with you to enhance your labour and birth experience and help moms gain confidence in their body’s ability to deliver their babies.
Doulas support the mother’s wishes and help them advocate for themselves. They help moms know their choices; but doulas don’t impose their own beliefs. Doulas help parents feel comfortable with their own decisions, and they find strategies to help promote parents’ wishes.