What is a Doula?

A Doula is:

“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

A birth doula provides a listening ear for the emotional process of pregnancy, how she feelsphysical comfort suggestions during pregnancy and labor and informational support for both the laboring mom and her partner. The doula is knowledgeable about the entire birth process, possesses skills to help a laboring mom cope with the physical experience and emotions of labor and understands the importance of this event in the life of the couple. The doula will provide support for mom and baby by helping mom formulate questions, gather information, and discuss the options available with the medical staff. The doula will not perform clinical tasks, and will never make decisions on behalf of a woman. A Doula will always respect that it is up to the mother to make the informed choice that is best for her. Most importantly, the doula uses her skills to complement those of the woman’s partner and medical providers, helping to ensure a satisfying birth memory.

What is a Doula and Why are they so Beneficial?  (video by www.healthyhappychild.com)

  • Shorter labors and fewer complications
  • Reduction of one’s negative feelings about one’s childbirth
  • Strengthens the bond with, and appreciation for, one’s partner
  • Less need for Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug; synthetic oxytocin), forceps or vacuum extraction
  • Fewer requests for pain medication & epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
  • Increases rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum
  • Increases one’s own self-esteem, and feelings of capability

 

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It’s been 6 weeks since my sweet baby boy was brought into this world with the help of Stephanie by my side. I wanted a natural medicine free delivery but this boy had other plans. Even though I had to be induced and did not get the birth plan I wanted Stephanie was by my side for 36 hours of labor reassuring me and helping me navigate a very difficult situation. I do not know what I would have done without her. She truly kept me grounded and focused on my goal of delivering a healthy baby boy and I could not be more grateful. I highly recommend this dedicated passionate woman to any and all mamas and will definitely be calling her for baby number 2! Thank you Stephanie! Kanan and I ❤️ U! ~ Christina Marie Harris

“Stephanie was by my side for 36 hours of labor reassuring me and helping me navigate a very difficult situation.”

“The techniques Stephanie suggested were helpful to Sarah both physically and emotionally. I enjoyed having Stephanie as a part of Sarah’s team, she was a bright light in the room.” ~ John Fassett, California Pacific Medical Center, Certified Nurses Midwife

“Stephanie was a bright light in the room.”