What is a Doula?
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." - John H. Kennell, MD
A doula is a birth companion who supports you (and your partner!) throughout your pregnancy and birth. They are there to inform you of your choices, help with your birth plan, and offer emotional and physical support during your pregnancy, labour and postpartum period. Their primary focus is you and your baby. Unlike midwives, who you may see several throughout your pregnancy, a doula however, provides continuous support to you, all the way until your baby is here in this world.
What a doula doesn’t do?
Perform medical tasks or give medical advice.
Make decisions for you.
Try to influence or pressure your choices.
Take over the role of the partner.
My role as your doula is to stand shoulder to shoulder with the birthing person, on their journey to parenthood, offering encouragement and reassurance, amplifying your voice, supporting you with the right knowledge, to be able to advocate for your own body and baby.
Why do I need a Doula?
The Doula Effect
Including a Doula as part of your birth team, who can provide you with continuous support throughout your pregnancy, during labour and at your birth, has been scientifically proven to shorten labour, with mothers experiencing less pain, the need for less interventions and a greater birth satisfaction. Plus, partners also feel more confident in the role they play during labour, and consequently allow them to be more effective in their support towards their partner.
Having a doula means:
39% reduction of ‘risk of caesarean’
Birthing people with Doulas supporting, have been shown in randomised controlled trials, that their risk of caesarean is 39% less than their unsupported peers.
31% increased ‘birth satisfaction’
Labouring people with Doula support, decrease the risk of reporting feelings of dissatisfaction and trauma during their birth experience by 31%.
41 minutes ‘reduction in labour time’
On average, labouring with a doula present is 41 minutes shorter, and there is a 10% decrease in the use of medications for pain relief.
Doula support overall helps you to look back on your birth as a positive experience, and a source of growth, rather than a traumatic experience.
So mamas as you prepare for your birth, make sure you do your research when building your birth team, and the read up on the vital role a Doula plays in that. Just as you would research a pram or baby carrier or some other product that you feel will be useful once the baby is here. Mamas think of yourself and what you need to help get you through your labour in a positive and empowered way. If your partner doesn’t see the value of a doula, or is against you having a doula, because they feel they will be replaced and cast aside; A Doula is not there to replace the role of the partner, but rather to enhance it by working together towards the same goal, which is to make the birthing person feel as comfortable, happy and confident as possible. Remember, in childbirth, you are the driver of the car. You decide who is in the car with you, sitting beside you with the map and helping you decide where to go.
Who is a Doula for?
Doulas are for "that kind" of mum!
Even though women supporting women giving birth has been around for centuries, the term Doula, is still relatively new. People often aren't sure what a Doula is, or does, or the kind of people that hire one. Usually opinions are formed on ignorance and stereotype. However, the fact is, including a Doula as part of your birth team, will be one of the most beneficial decisions you'll make on your journey to motherhood.
Doulas are for "that kind" of mum.
The kind who:
Births at home.
In a birth centre.
In a hospital.
The kind who wants:
All the drugs.
To wait and see.
The kind who has:
A supportive partner.
A clueless partner.
The kind who feeds:
From a bottle.
From her breast.
The kind who deserves:
Respect, Support, Encouragement & Peace on the day of her birth.
Doula's are not for just one type of mum, wanting one type of birth. Doula's are for ALL types of mum and ALL types of birth. Don't be "that kind" of mum.