A doula is a labor companion or birth partner. The role of the doula is an ancient, yet very profound role. Women have been supporting other women in labor and birth for many centuries, and in many cultural settings and locations across the world.
Doulas accompany laboring people to help ensure a satisfying and safe birth experience. Today, a doula is a trained professional that provides informational, emotional, and physical support throughout one's pregnancy, labor, and after baby is born. Doulas help with educational and community resources, information before and after birth visits, continuous emotional and physical support throughout labor, and relevant support during the postpartum period. Doulas can also help one acquire the information that they need to make informed decisions about their body and their baby.
A number of studies have shown that continuous support from a doula during labor has significant physical and emotional benefits for birthing people and their babies. Fathers and other parent figures, as well as other family members and friends, have needs during labor and delivery also, and therefore a doula can help meet the needs of the birth team, as well.
As doulas, we are the guardians of birthing people's emotional well being, as well as their memories, and our purpose is to support pregnant people through their journey to a safe and satisfying birth.