What is a Doula?

What is a Doula?

A doula is a trained birth professional who provides the physical, emotional, and informational support listed below to individuals and families before, during, and just after labor and childbirth. 

 

A doula provides support by offering:

  • Emotional comfort: Support and encouragement before, during, and after labor and delivery.

  • Physical comfort: Relaxation and breathing techniques, massage, and positioning to enhance the progress of and comfort during labor and delivery.

  • Informational support: Information about labor and delivery.

  • Breastfeeding support: Support for the client at the start of breastfeeding and subsequent consultations, if needed. Please note that our doulas defer first to the hospital’s lactation specialist. If our participation is needed, we will act as a partner to the lactation specialist.

  • Family support: Support for the families and friends to assist them in helping the client.

What services do our Doulas provide?

Our doulas participate in monthly on-call calendars to provide support to individuals and families within the participating hospital group practices. Individuals and families can elect to be attended to by a volunteer doula, if one is available. The calendar will be divided into two 12-hour shifts from 7am to 7pm and from 7pm to 7am daily, with one to two doulas on-call each shift. The clinical providers/nurses/relevant hospital staff and our volunteer doulas will be in regular contact with each other to determine when a doula is needed. If an individual or family in labor requests a doula, the clinical providers will alert the doula on-call, and that doula will proceed to the hospital to attend that birth.

 

The doula will either stay for the entire labor and delivery or will call in for another doula when their shift ends. The doula will also stay for one to two hours postpartum to help with breastfeeding and to help the client get comfortable.

Who our are volunteers?

Our chosen volunteers partake in an application and interview process to ensure that the individual is the right fit for our program. This includes confirmation of completion of an accredited doula training program and confirmation of up-to-date vaccination records (including the flu shot). Our doulas also participate in an orientation, which covers scope of work and code of ethics.