While your doctor or midwife must focus on the clinical aspects of your prenatal care and delivery, a doula’s focus is on your educational, emotional, and physical needs. A doula will develop a relationship with her client during the pregnancy and her constant presence during the entire labor and birth gives the expecting couple a sense of security and reassurance that greatly enhances their birthing experience.
So what exactly does a doula do?
A doula encourages and supports the role of the partner during the pregnancy and birth. A doula never replaces the partner. She encourages their role by asking clarifying questions of the couple during prenatal meetings to determine exactly what that will mean for them throughout the process.
A doula provides valuable information to the couple as they make choices for the pregnancy and birth. She refers couples to childbirth education classes that will assist them in meeting their goals, assists in developing and writing the birth plan, provides current research articles, and helps the couple to find resources that will answer any questions that come up.
A doula listens to your needs and affirms your decisions. In our culture of negativity and fear, a doula will offer encouragement and remind you how capable you are of accomplishing your goals in pregnancy and birth.
A doula is well trained in a variety of physical comfort techniques that are helpful during pregnancy, labor, and birth. These may include the use of the massage, aromatherapy, position changes, water labor, and helping to keep you hydrated and comfortable.
Gentle Childbirth Services supports women in their choices of where to give birth. We love supporting women in all environments, whether it is hospital, home, or birth center, as long as a credentialed clinical care provider is present.
In addition doulas may also:
provide support in your home during labor
travel with you to the hospital to provide continual support
help ease the transition from home to hospital
decrease the length of labor
provide information during pregnancy or labor so you can make informed decisions
partner together with medical staff to create a safe, peaceful and empowering environment in your birthing room
help with initial breastfeeding relationship
What We Don’t Do
We are NOT doctors or midwives and do NOT provide clinical care - i.e. vital signs, blood draws, vaginal exams, etc.
We will NOT hinder your doctor or medical staff from providing you with proper medical care
We do NOT make decisions for you
We do NOT diagnose, treat or prescribe treatment