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What Can a Doula Do for You?

Planned home birth, hospital birth, induction, or planned epidural.

Let us discuss the possibilities, look at the evidence based studies and discuss your options.

First let me open up what a doula is, and what a doula looks like. I believe there is a misunderstanding about what a doula is, and what we do. A birth doula’s goal is to make sure that you feel heard and supported throughout your birth journey. The key to remember is, that journey is yours. We are not in this business to make sure that we get as many woman as we can to have a natural home birth with zero interventions, we are here to support your journey. If your plan is to get an epidural as soon as the hospital will hook you up, we support your desires.
DONA International has famously stated that they would like to have a doula for every woman.

* (Please check out DONA’s website: This means that we have all kinds of women supporting women in their birth journey. Wherever that takes them. (
Because every woman is different, every doula is different. You need to ‘shop’ around until you find someone who fits your personality. ( After meeting several you will find that you just mesh with some and don’t with others.
It is the job of your doula to be your memory from the books you read and the class you took during pregnancy so that you and your partners can relax and enjoy your journey of welcoming your new family member. Helping you remember to move, drink water, and helping you rest when it is possible. Your doula makes sure that your partner/family/support team who you desire with you during this journey all have a job so that everyone is a participating member of your team.
If you have a cesarean birth your doula is able to stay with you while your partner goes with the baby. After the baby is born in this manner they are taken across the room, cleaned up and checked while you are being put back together. If needed they are taken on up to the NICU. Without a doula to support you, you are left alone while separated from your baby. This can be a difficult and scary time for a new or experienced mom. Having someone there to normalize everything and to keep you informed until you are united with your baby can dramatically reduce the stress this situation may cause.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently released a statement on the utilization of a doula for better birth outcomes. “The recommendations also suggest that women benefit from continuous emotional support and the use of non-pharmacologic methods to manage pain. Support offered by trained labor coaches such as doulas has been associated with improved birth outcomes, including shortened labor and fewer operative deliveries. In addition to considering use of medications or epidural anesthesia to manage pain in labor, practitioners are encouraged to offer women coping techniques, such as massage, water immersion in the first stage of labor, or relaxation techniques. Recognizing that the complete absence and elimination of pain is not what all women value, use of a coping scale rather than pain scale is recommended to evaluate the multifactorial experience of labor.” (
Have you considered what your ideal birth would look like? I would love the opportunity to help you meet your goals!