WHAT IS A DOULA?
Traditionally, a doula was a woman offering non medical support and information to other women and their partners during birth and the post natal period. 'Doula' is a Greek word that came to mean "womans servant".
I believe that a Doula is a support and information bank for anyone navigating their way through the pregnancy, birth & postnatal.
A Doula believes in the process and journey and the impact it leaves on the family:
- Your doula is a great listener
- Does not impose their own thoughts and beliefs
- Trusts the clients instincts
- Acknowledges the power and impact of life transitions
- Works with the birth partners as valued team members
- Works along side medical professionals
- Understands these processes are not theirs
- Offers continuous, or as required, non judgmental support
Overall, she believes that birth is a rite of passage and no one should do it alone.
The doula is knowledgeable in comfort measures such as relaxation breathing, massage and positioning, managing labour sensations using water, hot packs and aromas.
Doulas specialise in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or foetal heart rate monitoring. Doulas do not diagnose medical conditions, offer second opinions, or give medical advice.
Many studies have been conducted and highlighted the huge difference a birth doula can make to a labour and birth. In the USA, UK and parts of Europe doulas are a recognised part of the birthing team and post natal services. The doula services fill an important gap for women and their caregivers and has been developed over the years to respond to the ever increasing requests from women to have more support and continuity of care before, during and after the birth of their children.
Studies have shown that births have...
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
50% reduction in caesarean rate
40% reduction in forceps delivery
30% reduction in analgesia use
Around Australia, there are a variety of situations in which people choose to give birth: for example the home (with private midwives), a birth centre, a labour ward, or a private hospital. A doula can support you anywhere you choose to be.