What is a DOULA? Is a doula a midwife? Do I need a Doula for my birth?
Doula (DOO-lah) is a Greek term for “woman servant”
- A doula is a trained childbirth professional who help families have the best possible childbirth experience
- Doulas work in homes, hospitals or birthing centers
- Doulas are hired by the pregnant woman, usually in the 5th -7th month of pregnancy
- Doulas assist all women in birth, regardless of medication choices and vaginal or cesarean birth
- Doulas work with all healthcare providers during labor.
- Tulsa Doulas have been supporting women in birth since 1993.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a Doula’s presence at birth:
- Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.
- Reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
- Reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction.
- Reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans.
- When a Doula is present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression.
- Studies have shown that babies born with Doulas present tend to have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period.
- A Doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She provides informational and emotional support, while respecting a woman’s decisions.
- A Doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.
Read more about Types of Doulas.