What is a Doula?
The word, "doula", is a Greek word referring to a woman who has experience in the process of childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support for a woman before, during and after childbirth.
A Doula...

  • Constant recognizes childbirth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life...
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor...
  • Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth...
  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout her entire labor...
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and helps the woman get information she needs to make good decisions...
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers...
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of her birth experience...

The Importance of a Doula
Throughout history, women relied on other women as well as their partners for encouragement and support before, during and after childbirth. Today, the birth of technology has meant the reality that many women experience birth in unfamiliar settings without constant reassurance.  The support and encouragement that a doula provides plays a vital role in childbirth.  Studies confirm that the presence of a doula for labor and delivery resulted in:

  •     50% fewer cesarean deliveries
  •     25% decrease in length of labor
  •     30% decrease in use of pain medication
  •     60% decrease in requests for epidurals
  •     40% decrease in forceps delivery
  •     Increase in confidence of the father
  •     Increase success in breastfeeding
  •     Greater maternal satisfaction*

*Klaus, Marshall H., M.D., Phyllis Klaus, M.Ed., and John Kennell, M.D., Mothering the Mother:  NY: Addison-Wesley, 1993.

How do partners and doulas work together?

As a doula I will help a couple explore many ways to invite flexibility and permission into the labor process. The partner plays an invaluable role in the support team by being the primary support person. I will never overstep this important boundary. In most cases, the birth is about the couple -both individuals- and their union.  My goal is to bring the couple closer together in this intimate process.  I will provide education and suggestions as to how the partner can support the mother. The partner may have no idea how to be useful; he/she may fear being useless or in her way.  I can help the partner build confidence and feel empowered in this role. I am a doula to the partner too. I'm there to support him or her emotionally as well.

What is a stillbirthday and bereavement doula (SBD)?

A stillbirthday and bereavement doula (SBD) provides support prior to, during and after birth in any trimester. A SBD doula is qualified to provide support in situations of fatal diagnosis, carrying to term, and NICU care.  A SBD doula is equally prepared to provide comprehensive support during live birth outcomes, including subsequent "rainbow" pregnancies, and can serve as a labor support in all birth situations.

© Copyright doula denise, LLC. All rights reserved.  doula denise, LLC provides an unbiased and professional approach during pregnancy, birth & postpartum period. Your needs will be accommodated to create a personal and unique experience. I am dedicated to providing you with care and information based on the most current evidence-based guidelines and research.