I am so glad you are curious about doulas
A birth doula is a companion who provides people with continuous support during labor and childbirth¹.
¹ Source: Evidence Based Birth®
What a doula provides
In today's world, birth doulas fill in the gap between the medical providers, the huge amount of available information and the needs of the parents.
A birth doula has vast knowledge about many aspects of childbirth.
Continuity of support
A doula comes to you and stays by your side throughout all the hours of your labor, for as long as it takes.
Physical comfort measures
A doula can offer a wide arrange of techniques to increase your comfort and relaxation during labor.
Familiarity with the medical setting
A doula is culturally acquainted with medical environment, providers and protocols in the region you are giving birth.
A doula cares about you and your emotional well-being. We listen, are attentive and responsive to you.
A doula thrives to keep communication channels open and clear between everyone in the birthroom.
Timeline of a relationship
How does it (usually) work
It's about building rapport
According to Google Translate, rapport is "a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well". This is what your doula will try to develop with you during your relationship.
Some synonyms are: bond; affinity; close/special relationship; (mutual) understanding; empathy; harmony.
I could go own forever talking about doulas
In the following sections you will find the measured benefits of having continuous support during labor and a simple list to understand the scope of work of a birth doula.
And then I'm done, I promise!
The doula effect
Source: Evidence Based Birth®
Increase in the likelihood of experiencing spontaneous vaginal birth
Average reduction of labor length
This effect takes place when receiving continuous support during labor.
Decrease in the risk of having an abdominal birth (a.k.a. cesarean)
Decrease in the risk of being unsatisfied with the birth experience
This effect takes place when receiving continuous support during labor from a doula or someone in your social network.
This falls out of the scope of work of a birth doula:
Performing medical interventions
Providing medical advice or diagnosis
Speaking on your behalf
Making decisions on your behalf
Taking over the role of your birth partner