From Evidence-Based Birth:
Doulas nurture and support the birthing person throughout labor and birth. Their essential role is to provide continuous labor support to the mother, no matter what decisions the mother makes or how she gives birth. Labor support is defined as the therapeutic presence of another person, in which human-to-human interaction with caring behaviors is practiced (Jordan,2013). Importantly, the doula’s role and agenda are tied solely to the birthing person’s agenda. This is also known as primacy of interest. In other words, a doula’s primary responsibility is to the birthing person—not to a hospital administrator, nurse, midwife, or doctor.
A doula can provides care via the four pillars of labor support—emotional support, physical support, education and advocacy.
Not at all! There is no birth scenario that could come up where I would not be needed or I would leave a client (ex: epidural) UNLESS you directly communicate that you do not need my support or you would like to be alone. On occasion, I may step out after you're epidural has kicked in and you are comfortable...to give you some time to sleep. BUT, I stay close by so I can attend to you as soon as you need support. Whether you get an epidural or require a surgical birth, does not mean that you don't need support - emotionally, physically, educational, breastfeeding, postpartum, etc... I am with you *every* step of the way!
Your midwife is a highly trained, medical provider. And although they are a compassionate professional, they are also very busy. If you have a midwife in a hospital setting, your midwife will not stay with you for the duration of your labor. However, your doula will! Your doula will be sure that your emotions surrounding your birth experience are validated, you are as physically comfortable as possible and that your questions are answered as they come up. We work with all providers to create a dynamic and relaxing atmosphere where everyone on your team work together to take care of YOU!
As your doula, my job is to work with any member of the family that you invite to your birth. I collaboratively work with moms, dads, partners, friends and whomever else you choose to share this experience with. I help your loved ones find their role in supporting you in a way that suits their strengths and comfort levels—My role is not to replace any of your loved ones, but to enhance their participation in your experience.
I work with a group of doulas in a collective called TLC . We share a schedule and on the rare occasion that I may be unavailable when you go into labor (sickness, etc...) one of my experienced partners would attend your birth:)