word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves"
and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who
provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the
mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional
and practical support during the postpartum period.
have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer
complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula - Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective
viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to
make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
-Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).
A Postpartum Doula
evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease
the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family,
improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.
-Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
-Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical
recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents
and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
A postpartum doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials PCD(DONA).
DONA International, What is a doula?
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