Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Doulas

Birth Doulas

A birth doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a birthing person (and their partner if they have one) before, during and just after birth. Sometimes birth doulas specialize in postpartum care which extends beyond the immediate postpartum phase and helps the birthing person, and their loved ones adjust to life with a newborn.

Birth Doulas:

  • Honor, affirm and empower the birthing person's choices.
  • Hold emotional space
  • Help you prepare for birthing
  • Offers continual, hands-on labor support
  • Offers emotional support
  • Assist the birthing person through the early postpartum period
  • Work with your family as a member of your support team

Having a Birth Doula can help create a:

  • 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
  • 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five-minute Apgar score
  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience

The above is evidence-based information on the impact Birth Doulas have on the birthing process.

Postpartum Doulas

The postpartum doula offers information, emotional and physical support. How a postpartum doula helps is discussed between the birthing person and the doula. Here are some tasks postpartum doulas can help with:

  • Light housework
  • Newborn care while parents rest
  • Assistance with feeding
  • Meal preparation and planning
  • Baby-wearing assistance
  • Sibling support
  • Newborn care education
  • Feeding/changing station stock up
  • Cultural and/or spiritual ritual support

Benefits of Having and Postpartum Doula:

  • Decreased anxiety, increased confidence
  • Community-based referrals for additional support services
  • Boosted self-esteem
  • Improved postpartum maternal mental wellness
  • Improved bonding for partners and siblings
  • Better breastfeeding experience and outcomes
  • Increased movement postpartum
  • Quicker physical recovery
  • Improved relaxation

Postpartum Doulas also support the partner

The role of the doula is separate from the partner but rather to enhance the experience and support both in adjusting to life with a newborn baby. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • Helping them work through their own fears or apprehensions
  • Facilitating conversations between the couple
  • Teaching them newborn care techniques
  • Ensuring they are fed and hydrated
  • Education about how to support a mother's recovery in the postpartum period.