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Q: What is a doula?

A: The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “Woman’s servant.”  A doula is a specially trained labor support person who provides comfort and support to a woman and her partner during labor and birth. A doula does not replace a midwife, doctor, or nurse, who provide the medical care of a patient.


Q: Why use a doula?

A: DONA International doulas mother the mother.

Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.

DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.


Q: Will our hospital think we are weird for bringing a doula?

A: Hospitals, midwives, and obstetricians understand the value of a doula to you both are almost always happy for you to have additional support. While the concept is probably new to you, professional doulas have been attending US hospitals for some time – so it won’t be new to your caregivers. While you don’t need your private obstetrician’s permission to have a doula, in the interests of open communication, it’s a good idea to let them know you’ve decided to work with one before labor starts.


Q: Isn't the midwife suppose to do this? 

A: Midwives are experts in pregnancy and vaginal birth.  The role of a midwife is to deliver your baby.


Q: Will my partner be involved?

A: Having a doula at your birth should never diminish your partner’s role. Your partner knows you, he loves you and what he brings to the birth of his child is completely unique. I’m there to complement him, not to compete with him and will help him remain as involved as he’d like to be through every stage of your labor. Imagine being expected to coach a game that you’ve never seen, and you’ve never played yourself!  Our expectations of partners in labor can be a bit like that. 


Q: I want an epidural! 

A: My role isn’t to impose a particular “type” of birth on you – it’s to help you have a positive birth the way YOU define it.  If you’re undecided about pain relief, or just keeping an open mind – I’ll help you explore your options beforehand and be there in labor no matter what you decide.


Q: What can a doula do to help me during labor? 

A: A doula will stay with you during your labor, providing you with reassurance, encouragement and continuous physical and emotional support. A doula can assist in comfort measures like relaxation, breathing, massage, and positioning. 


Q: Can a doula improve my labor and birth experience

A:  Yes, research shows that continuous labor support can: Shorten labor // Reduce the need for labor-inducing // Reduce the need for pain medication or epidural medications // Reduce the incidence of cesarean //   Increase mom’s satisfaction with her birth experience delivery


Q: Will the doula make decisions for me?

A: No. Doulas are not medically trained. During labor, a doula is there to help you have the birth you desire, supporting you through any medically necessary changes. 


Q: Can a Doula check my progress during labor?

A: No. Doulas are not medically trained. During labor, a doula is there to help you have the birth you desire, supporting you through any medically necessary changes. 

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