A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
A doula can help you cope with labor contractions by offering massages, counter pressure, hot and cold compresses, position changes, and much more. She may assist you with rhythmic breathing or simply maintain a calm presence among a hectic labor and delivery floor. The type of physical support provided depends on you, your labor, and your partner's role in the birth.
A doula is familiar with the emotional journey of labor and birth for both the laboring mom and her partner. She will stay by your side throughout the entire process to provide encouragement and reassurance.
Though a doula will not advise you to make a certain decision, she can facilitate communication between you and your care providers to ensure that you have all the information you need. A doula will help you ask questions to get that information, so you will be equipped to make an informed decision or informed refusal.