What is a Doula?

Welcoming new life into the world should be a moment of empowerment, euphoria and celebration, however too often this momentous occasion is clouded by fear, disappointment and undesirable traumatic outcomes in the birthing room. You should not be expected to go into your birth experience feeling unprepared, vulnerable or anxious. Becoming a mother or parent can be one of the most significant events in a person’s life, you should feel nothing short of empowered, knowledgeable and confident. I believe the role of a doula can support this.

Role Of A Doula

A doula \DOO-luh\ is a Greek word meaning‘ highest woman servant during birth’ – we use it in childbirth to refer the role of a supportive person who actively supports a woman, or birthing person and their family through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

A doula aims to adapt their care to each individual birthing person depending on their specific needs and desires for birth. A doula does not perform or offer clinical tasks but works closely with midwives to give you the best care during pregnancy and birth. The role of the doula is to ‘be’ and not very much to ‘do’. I work to support your choices and ensure you have access to evidence-based information so you are aware of your options and able to make informed choices. I empower you to trust your body, the process of birth and to build positive relationships with your health care providers.

Put simply the role of the doula is to empower you to trust your intrinsically built birthing skill and to protect your birthing space. My goal is to support you and your supportive person as a team with a holistic approach. At the core of my doula work my ambition is to support you in trusting your innate power and feeling informed and in control throughout your birthing journey.

Evidence supports positive outcomes linked to doula support, including:

  • Reduced risk of Caesarean birth
  • Reduced risk of instrumental birth
  • Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth
  • Reduced rate of induction of labour
  • Shorter labour
  • Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience.
  • Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding
  • Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks
  • Lower incidence of depressive symptomatology

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More detailed research is available at Doula UKCochrane