At Sierra Natural Birth Center we encourage families to consider hiring a doula to attend them in labor and/or the postpartum period. You may be wondering what a “doula” is and how one may be helpful for you and your partner through the birthing process. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or refer to the contact information provided for any of our local doulas here.
Doula (doo-luh): A trained and experienced person who provides continuous, physical, emotional, and informational support to a woman, her partner, and family during labor, birth, and early postpartum.
What Does a Doula Do?
A doula is a non-medical professional who acts as a “mother to the mother.” She gives guidance, encouragement, reassurance, and support. Before labor, she can provide on-call support and will arrive at your home or chosen birth place when needed. Throughout labor she can provide hands-on pain relief with touch and massage. A doula will stay with the laboring mother until after the baby is born.
Doulas can also provide support to the partner and birth team. A doula does not replace the birth partner, but rather will work alongside them. She can help guide in comfort techniques, improve communication, and provide helpful information when asked. The laboring mother’s partner should feel enabled to participate at their own comfort level.
“The calming influence the doula can have on expectant fathers in often as significant as her her effect on the laboring mother.” -Ina May Gaskin
Why Choose a Doula?
A doula can bring experience, perspective, and help create a calm atmosphere for a mother to labor in. Clinical studies have shown that having a doula attend a mother in labor can:
- Positively affect the birth outcome and reduce negative feelings towards it.
- Comfort the mother and shorten labor time.
- Reduce the need for medical intervention during childbirth
- Reduce the need for pain medications during labor
Would you like to know more about doula services? Please visit our Doula page here with a listing of the Doulas we often work with at Sierra Natural Birth Center.