A Birth Doula supports the mother wherever or however she
chooses to give birth – at home, in a birth centre, in hospital – with
or without medical intervention.
A Birth Doula will usually meet with the woman and her partner
before the birth to establish a relationship and to discuss her hopes
and dreams for her birth. The time may also be used to talk about
previous experiences or fears that might impact on this birth and
for the Birth Doula to provide the mother with any information she
During the labour and birth, the Birth Doula will be a nurturing
presence, providing as much comfort as possible which may include
massage or help with breathing and relaxation, encouragement and
reassurance. The Birth Doula may also be able to provide
information so that the mother and her partner can make informed
choices about their care. However, the Birth Doula will never make
decisions over their heads or steer them towards a particular
course of action.
An important role of the Birth Doula is to stay with the new
mother/family after the birth until she is sure they are comfortable
and settled. Usually a time will come when the mother/parents
would like to be alone with their baby/ies – establishing those first
bonds as a family – and the Birth Doula will be sensitive to this.
For more details about my doula services, see here.