Doula: 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. – DONA International
Doulas provide the following types of support:
Physical Support – if desired, hands-on support during birthing, assistance into different birthing positions, etc.
Emotional Support – advocating for you and your birth plan, and supporting you in your decisions, no matter what they are
Partner Support – during birthing, this may look like offering your partner breaks, helping him or her to understand what is taking place, etc. Postpartum, this may include education, household chores, assistance with caring for other children, the list goes on…
Sibling Support – sometimes children can have difficulty accepting a new sibling into the home. A doula may provide strategies to help the other child(ren) feel included, learn about the baby and even just play with the other kids.
Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy – doulas are trained on the most up-to-date research on what is safe and healthy for you and your family. If I do not know that answer to your questions off-hand, you can be sure that I will know where to find them!