What is a Doula?

A doula is an individual who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to pregnant clients and their families. Doulas are not medically trained individuals. However, doula training includes a review of the phases of pregnancy and labor, possible complications of birth, and the role of potential medical interventions (Pitocin augmentation, electronic fetal monitoring, pharmacological agents, etc.). In addition, doulas learn special skills to help clients relax and cope with the intensity of birth, including massage, relaxation and breathing techniques, and position changes.

Anyone can benefit from having a doula attend his or her birth. Doulas aim to support the choices of the person and their family regardless of whether they choose a “natural” birth or pain management with an epidural. Doulas also support people through cesarean sections. It is a doula’s role to support the client regardless of their birth choices.