WHAT IS A DOULA background.png

Welcome to the club

 I'M SO GLAD YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT DOULAS 

A birth doula is a companion who provides people with continuous support during labor and birth¹.

Ideally, you will meet with the doula a few times while you're pregnant to talk about your wishes and preferences for the birth and for building rapport. When the big day comes, she will answer your call and stay by your side while you accomplish the heroic task of giving birth to your child.

You will meet with her again after the birth, to close up the process.

¹ Source: Evidence Based Birth®

What is labor support?
3 definitions for the concept*

* Source: A Practical Approach to Labor Support - Ellise D. Adams & Ann L. Bianchi, JOGNN, 2008

"(...) identified five types: (1) emotional support; (2) comfort measures;

(3) informational/advice;  (4) advocacy; and (5) supporting the husband/partner"

HODNETT / 1996

"(...) as including encouragement, positioning, application of heat and cold, massage, instructions for relaxation and breathing, information regarding labor progress, and negotiating with the health care team"

MILTNER / 2002

"(...) professional labor support as having six dimensions: (1) tangible support; (2) advocacy; (3) emotional support — reassurance; (4) emotional support — creating control, security, and comfort; (5) emotional support — nursing caring behaviors; and (6) informational support. "

HOTTENSTEIN / 2005

A marvelous concept

 RAPPORT 

"A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well"

Synonims: bond; affinity; close/special relationship; (mutual) understanding; empathy; harmony

Source: Google Translate

 What a doula DOES: 

Thrives to know and learn your preferences in the birthroom 

 Listens to you with genuine curiosity and an open mind 

Responds to your calling

 Stays by your side throughout all the hours of your labor 

Empathizes with you and treats you kindly 

 Stays attentive to your needs and emotions 

Keeps a close eye on your birth partner and his/her own process, emotions and needs 

 Integrates respectfully within the space you've decided to give birth in (home, birth center, hospital, etc) 

Attempts to facilitate communication between you and with your care provider

 Suggests and performs comfort measures that might help you cope with the process of labor 

Understands that the birth of your child is a unique special moment in your life, where you are the one and only boss

 Puts your wellbeing as her maximum priority 

 OUT of the scope of the doula work is : 

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

Changing shifts

Giving advice

THE DOULA EFFECT

Getting continuous support during childbirth from someone outside your own social network and the care provider staff has an impact on your experience*

15 % 

Increase in the likelihood of experiencing spontaneous vaginal birth

41 minutes

Average labor lenght reduction

This effect takes place when receiving continuous support during labor

39 % 

Decrease in the risk of having an abdominal birth (a.k.a. cesarean)

Mother in Love

31 %

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

(*) Source: Evidence Based Birth®

 There is a lot of excellent sources 

A WORD ABOUT MY FAVORITE

Evidence Based Birth® (EBB®) is an institution whose mission is making accurate evidence based research available for families and communities, with the purpose that they can make informed  choices in the birthroom.

Their website is full of great information, I highly recommend it!

They have a free format for sharing quick access information, the handout. It's possible to go downloading their one page handout about Doulas on the button below.