What Does a Doula Do?

Your doula will provide you and your partner with continuous care, support and encouragement throughout labor and delivery. Specifically, she will provide:
  • Prenatal home visits
  • Assistance when writing a birth plan
  • An objective viewpoint and information about labor and delivery choices
  • Suggestions to ease discomfort in pregnancy
  • Continuous emotional and physical support throughout the entire labor and birth unlike most nurses, midwives or doctors
  • Suggestions and physical assistance for pain management and relaxation techniques during labor such as body positioning, massage, aromatherapy, using a birth ball, hydrotherapy, breathing and focusing, which will help speed labor and prevent unnecessary interventions
  • Explanations of medical procedures and terms to help you make informed decisions
  • Clear communication between you, your partner and the medical staff
  • Comfort and reassurance to your partner so he or she can better love & encourage you
  • Postpartum home visits and help
  • Breastfeeding support and resources

Recommended Reading

  • "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin
  • "The Complete Organic Pregnancy" by Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu
  • "Husband-Coached Childbirth" by Robert A. Bradley, MD
  • "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin
  • "The Doula Book" ("Mothering the Mother" - older verision) by Marshall & Phyllis Klaus
  • "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn" by Penny Simkin
  • "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" by Susun Weed
  • "The Natural Pregnancy Book" by Aviva Jill Romm
  • "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Sheila Kitzinger
  • "Obstretric Myths Versus Research Realities" by Henci Goer
  • "Your Amazing Newborn" by Marshall H. Klaus and Phyllis H. Klaus
  • "Vaccinations - A Thoughtful Parent's Guide" by Aviva Jill Romm
  • "Father's First Steps" by Robert Sears, MD and James Sears, MD