THE ROLE OF A DOULA
what is a doula?
Doula, meaning servant in Latin, was the name given to those attending births in ancient Rome. The doula had a deep knowledge, through hands-on experience, of how birth unfolds. They understood what type of comfort and support a birthing person may require because of experiences over many years. What may have been new and unfamiliar for most was normal and easy to anticipate for the doula.
Modern medicine is relearning to respect the body’s natural abilities and at the same time, advances in technology provide people with options. As a culture, we are coming to understand, through science, that the best thing for a baby is to be with their family. While advances in medicine are essential to keeping families safe, unfortunately, some outdated methods are still widely in practice. A doula may shed light on a family’s options, when the best time to use them may be, and help advocate for the highest quality of care, even the most unfamiliar birth outcomes.
Knowing and believing in the body’s ability to give birth is a birthright. The doula helps put the experience of birth back into the hands of those having it. The richness of moments in the labor experience belongs to the birthing person. The most challenging of labor experiences may build confidence and heart for all the joy, windy roads, and complexity that family life may bring.
Doula support has been statistically proven to help mothers be more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and Cesareans. In addition, their labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth.
To me, the role of a doula means calming attention to the emotional and physical needs of the birthing person, anticipating those needs from experience and intuition, offering support and guidance to the birth team, and giving voice to unfamiliar moments where there is uncertainty or a cause for attention and advocacy.
A labor doula is an expert in providing care up to and during the big day. However, in addition, I also provide transitional guidance for postpartum healing and infant care.
Whatever your needs, I hope you take a moment to explore these offerings and reach out to see if we’re a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you!