What is a doula?
Birth doulas provide informational, physical, and emotional support. Birth doulas are often hired prenatally, and spend time with families developing a relationship and helping to make connections to resources and information. During labor, a doula is a continuous presence as active labor begins, remains with a family until the birth, and stays a few hours afterwards. After the birth, a birth doula continues to check in on the family, providing postpartum visits, helping the family make connections to resources and information.
Evidence shows lower rates of cesarean, pain drug use, vacuum/forceps delivery, and low Apgar scores for families who had the continuous support of a doula. Families also had higher rates of spontaneous birth, shorter labors, and generally reported more positive feelings about their birth experiences.
Who should have a doula?
I believe that a doula birth is an informed and supported birth, free of judgement. As a doula I support you in your decisions on how you want to give birth. Choosing to have a doula does not imply any other values or goals that you may or may not have for your pregnancy and birth. Everybody deserves to feel respect, love, and safety during their pregnancy, labor, and birth and having a doula can be a important part of that support.