What is a Doula? The word “doula” comes from the Greek and literally translated means “Woman Server or Helper Woman”.
Since ancient times women have always supported each other during childbirth. Currently doulas are trained professionals offering practical and emotional support during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. A doula is not a midwife or doctor, and her work does not interfere in any way with that of the health professionals, but may complement their role.
The evidence from research is that support from a doula can mean:
- 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 satisfaction with women’s experience of birth.
- Reduced risk of, or severity of, postnatal depression.
- Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding.
Women who have had the support of a doula during pregnancy and childbirth also report more satisfaction with the experience. Being a Doula for me is above all supporting the woman in what she needs. Providing her with information so that she can make informed decisions. And encouraging her to believe what she feels like the right choice. It is to adapt to the needs of the couple, setting aside judgments and preconceived ideas. What is a perfect birth for one woman may not be to another. What I would or would not do in such a situation does not matter. I am there to support that woman, with a history, conditions, needs and dreams that are hers alone.