“Doulas exist as guardians for families while they’re being born.” - Ananda Lowe, The Doula Guide to Birth
You may have heard the word doula before, but perhaps you are wondering: “What is a doula, and what role does one play in labor and birth?”
A birth doula is a professional labor support assistant who provides emotional and physical support, education, collaboration, and continuity of care to the birthing mother and her family. Doulas are committed to gently facilitating the birthing experience for the mother, her family, the baby, and primary care providers.
Doulas understand and trust the process of birth and in a woman’s power to birth her baby without unnecessary technical and/or medical interventions.
Doulas are there to:
- be a constant source of support for the duration of your birthing time
- suggest and provide non-medical comfort measures and relaxation techniques (massage, breathing, and visualization)
- encourage women and their families to become educated about birth by sharing evidence-based resources and materials
- share our knowledge of the labor and birth process
Doulas are not
- medical professionals (although some doulas may also have medical training, or even have a career in the medical field), and, therefore, are not qualified to perform diagnostic tests or other physical assessments on mother or baby
- a replacement for the birthing woman’s partner. Rather, doulas provide nurturing support that can encourage partners to participate more fully in the birth experience.
In short, doulas help to facilitate a physical and emotional space for mothers and families
to welcome their baby in the way that feels right to them.
Looking for a Boston doula? I’d love to meet you!