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 helps families have the best possible childbirth experience
- A doula works in homes, hospitals or birthing centers
- A doula is hired by the pregnant woman, usually in the 4th -7th month of pregnancy
- A doula assists all women in birth, regardless of medication choices and vaginal or cesarean birth
- A doula works with all healthcare providers during labor.
- Tulsa Doulas have been supporting women and families in birth since 1993.
Many clinical studies have found that a Doula’s presence at birth:
- Results in shorter labors with less complications.
- Creates positive feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
- Lowers the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug) and other possible interventions, such as the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
- Lowers the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the number of cesareans. (surgical delivery through abdomen)
- Women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, have more positive feelings towards their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression, when they have a Doula present for birth.
- Studies have shown that babies born with a doula 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 information and emotional support, while respecting a woman’s decisions.
- Doulas are supportive to both the mother and her partner, and play 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.