What is a Doula?
To describe what a doula is, we must also look at what a doula is NOT. Let's take a look at what a doula is and is not:
A doula is not a midwife! Doulas may work in conjunction with a midwife offering non medical support, comfort measures, and emotional support but they are not midwives. Doulas are not medically trained and do not perform any clinical duties such as vaginal exams, fetal heart tones, or blood pressure checks. They are strictly there for the emotional and physical needs of the birthing family.
A doula cannot give you advice or tell you what you should do! It is not our job to make decisions for you. Doulas do, however offer you relevant, up to date, non biased, accurate information to help you decide what is best for you and your particular situation.
Doulas do not speak to providers for you! We can remind you if there is a deviation from your wishes and inform you of pros and cons of decisions and help you figure out what you want to do, but we cannot speak to the provider on your behalf. We want you to be empowered and to have the confidence to advocate for yourself!
So, in conclusion what a doula IS, is an information source prenatally, an emotional support throughout birth and pregnancy, is a constant labor support person utilizing non pharmaceutical pain relief comfort measures during labor, and a postpartum support person. Doulas teach and empower you to advocate for yourself, discover your options, give you information to educate yourself with, and help you find your inner strength. Doulas also have many local resources to refer family's to as needed during pregnancy and postpartum as well and can help you find professional quality resources as needed!