Empowered From WIthin Doula Services

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  1. What's a Birth Doula?

    A doula is a woman who provides supportive care to pregnant, birthing, and postpartum women/person and their families.  She does so by offering information with which the woman/birthing person can make empowered choices about her options in childbirth, and, in a non judgmental way, honours those choices.  A birth doula also tends to the woman's/birthing person's psychological/emotional preparation for birth and motherhood, and during labour, provides comfort measures to keep her and her partner feeling relaxed and able to focus on the amazing transformation into parenthood.  A birth doula also respects the needs of the newborn, and helps to facilitate breastfeeding and bonding, as well as help the parents process their birth and breastfeeding experience.

  2. Where does the word "doula" come from?

    Technically, if you were to research the word, you would see it is Ancient Greek for “slave”.  Perhaps it was because in ancient times, it was the lady of the house's favourite handmaiden (technically a slave) who would care for her when she birthed and mothered her baby.  Basically, taking all the translations into account, “doula” has come to mean “in the service of women”.

  3. What are the benefits of hiring a doula?

    Hiring a doula has a lot of amazing benefits. Below are just a few reasons why people hire doulas. (Taken from DONA International.)

    • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
    • reduces the chances of having a c-section
    • reduces negativefeelings about one’s childbirth experience
    •  reduces the need for Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
    • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals 

    Research shows parents who receive support can...

    • feel more secure and cared for
    •  are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
    • have greater success with breastfeeding
    • have greater self-confidence
    • have less postpartum depression
    • have lower incidence of abuse

    While hiring a doula doesn’t guarantee a perfect birth, the benefits are clear.


  4. Does the doula take the place of the father or partner?

    No! Many fathers and partners, especially those experiencing parenthood for the first time, often feel reassured and comforted by the presence of an educated supporter. Doulas enhance the birth experience for everyone involved, fathers and partners included!

  5. Won't my nurse do the same things as a doula?

    Labour and Delivery nurses are a wonderful resource! However, nurses have many other duties including their clinical duties, paperwork and also other patients that frequently take them out of the room.  All of these can limit the amount of time a nurse has to spend taking care of the mother's/birthing person's physical and emotional needs.  On the other hand, a doula's primary focus is on the labouring individual and their partner(s).  A doula provides continuous care and her constant support allows her to respond immediatly to help the mother/birthing person and to make recomendations before problems that may arise can escalate.

  6. Do doulas only attend homebirths or drug-free births?

    No. Doulas are trained to support women/birthing persons and their partner(s) through a variety of birthing situations and outcomes. Whether you birth at home, in a hospital, or a birthing center - with or without drugs - doulas are there to support you no matter what your decision.  Even women/individual planning on birthing by means of a c-section can benefit from the services of a doula.

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