What is a Doula?

August 27, 2018

"If a doula were a drug it would be unethical not to use it" - Dr John Kennell



Doula is an old Greek word meaning 'women who support women'.


The modern role of the doula appeared in the 1970's in America when it was realised how medicalised birth had become.  Interventions were on the increase and women lacked much needed emotional and spiritual support. 




The word doula was then coined for the role of the support person who worked alongside the midwife, giving emotional and spiritual support to a woman in labour.


Doula's provide continuous emotional, physical, and spiritual support throughout your pregnancy, birth and in the early days as you adjust to becoming parents.  Doulas do not have medical training but work alongside the midwife, aiming to work as a team to ensure your experience is as positive and empowering for you as it can be.


Doulas hold space for you, ensuring the environment you birth in is the best it can be.  Doulas know the birth process, they are knowledgeable and many are up to date with the latest research in maternity care.   Many experienced doulas will bring a calm confidence, and often be able to sense where you are at within your labour due to providing you with their continuous support.  Their knowledge, experience and skills can help guide you through softening the process for you.    Of course, we are all different and I can only write of my own experience as a doula.



Having a doula present at your birth:


- can help to reduce medical intervention.

- can reduce the chance of caesarean birth.

- can help increase chances of vaginal birth and home birth.

- can help reduce the length of your labour.

- can provide positive support for long term breast feeding.

- will provide you with continuous support.

- can reduce stress, anxiety and keep the environment suited to your wishes.

- can help your partner/husband/wife in supporting you confidently.



Whilst this is the basis of the role of the doula, each doula also varies in her skills, experience, and what they offer.


If you are looking for a doula to support you during your birth, I recommend interviewing a few doulas before you settle on one to find the right person for you and your families birth wishes.

"Pregnancy and birth are as much a journey of your soul as they are of your physical body, a rite of passage to becoming a parent. Honour it well."



Blog By Eva Bay Greenslade

Birth Doula, Sacred Drum Healing Practitioner, Closing The Bones Practitioner, Facilitator of Ceremonies. 



email: evabaydoula@mail.com

Tel: 07915 406 520












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