Friday, January 25, 2008

What is a Doula?

What is a doula?

Giving birth to a baby is so much more than a physical phenomenon; it engages parents-to-be in a transformational experience, a key life event full of emotion and meaning. A doula who accompanies a woman in labor mothers the mother, taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth. A postpartum doula continues that valuable emotional support and guidance, helping a family make a smooth transition into new family dynamics.

Doulas are educated and knowledgeable about childbirth and the postpartum experience. They are advocates and a listening ear for birthing mothers, as well as facilitators to her partner. When a family goes home with a new baby, a postpartum doula supports every member and the family unit as a whole.

A Doula....

Recognizes birth 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 the entire labor...

Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions...

Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical careproviders...

Perceives her role as one who nutures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.


1 comment:

Susanne said...

Well stated and beautiful. When did you get the blogging bug? I hope many people are encouraged through your blog and the links to other great resources. One day perhaps we can blog together...