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what is a doula?

As a doula, I am not here to take the place of a partner, a mother, a nurse, or a primary care provider, but rather to enhance all of those team members. We help the birthing person in a number of ways that is unparalleled to other birth team members, ways that are supported by evidence based practices. 

A doula, facilitates the birthing space, helping all those that are present. They are there to make a safe space for the birthing person, breaking the barrier between the medical and the personal. Birth is a very special moment for parents. If there is a partner attending, it is my utmost priority to facilitate the birth between the two of them. I suggest to the partner how they could be of the most help to the mother. Whether that means applying counter pressure or just coming a step closer. Some mothers may rely solely on myself as the doula for their support. 

Doulas are trained in many pain management techniques. We are there with the mother every step of the way. Over the course of the minimum two prenatal visits, the mother will learn ways in which to manage the affects of labor. It’s my goal to teach how the body works to birth a baby and how the birthing person can help it do those important jobs.

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We are here as a non medical support to the mother in addition to a primary care provider.

It is important to know that a doula does not replace your obstetrician or midwife. We are here as a non medical support to the mother in addition to a primary care provider.

  • 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*

  • 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*

  • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference

  • Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference

  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference

  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff

found on evidencebasedbirth.com