the role of a doula

“A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”
— DONA International

“To take part in creation, to be a birthing woman, requires strength and courage; confidence and love. Making the choice to fully participate in the rite of passage of giving birth will mature and bring gifts that were never imagined.”
— Buffalo Midwifery Services

While nothing can fully prepare you for the transformative power of labor, delivery and motherhood, the right support will help you in those big unfamiliar moments. Compassionate support helps us manage those very real feelings of self doubt and sabotage that often come up in labor. Birthing from her center, comforted, supported, in her own intuitive way may change the entire trajectory of a labor. Research shows that families who use a doula are:

  • less likely to need Pitocin
  • less likely to have a cesarean birth
  • less likely to use any pain medication
  • more likely to rate their childbirth experience positively


As a part of your birth team, some roles a doula may play during labor include; Providing emotional support, physical comfort, movement for optimal fetal positioning, nutritional support and reminders, addressing the big question of transitioning to your place birth, partner care and facilitating communication as needed. There may be challenging times and making informed decisions during labor can prove to be difficult. You doula may be your moment of pause, reflection and offer suggestions as you move forward. 


A Special note to birth partners from Malissa. Having a doula may be a new concept, especially if you’re a first time parent or looking to change your model of care. You know your partner best. If we decide my doula services are a good fit, we will develop framing, relationship and familiarity around my presence in this intimate chapter of your life. My role is to provide comfort while encouraging and supporting the bond of the family.

Mothers respond in a special way to their partners. My support can never replace that. While I may step in from time to time and offer suggestions, ultimately, your role is of utmost importance. However you and the birthing mom see your role will determine how I do as well. I seek to honor that with integrity. Sometimes parents request to chat with previous families who’ve worked with me. Any additional information, answers, and resources are available upon request!