What is a Birth Doula?

A birth doula can be an important part of your labor team.

The word “doula” means “one who serves”. A birth doula is someone who’s been through labor before, and is there purely to help guide, support, and inspire you through labor.

Whether your doula is a family member who makes you feel loved and empowered, a friend, or a trained birth doula – studies show that women in labor benefit from having someone there for emotional support. 

But you don’t need a study – Just ask yourself: what would help me to feel at ease throughout this intense physical and emotional journey? Someone holding the space for you to breathe, stay calm, and connect to your power during this vulnerable transition can be life-changing.

doula prenatal yoga midwife

So can your doula be your partner? While partners can be our lifeline, they’ll be going through their own emotional journey and might need to take care of themselves. Having another person who’s there just for you can be useful.

What does a doula actually do?

  • A trained doula isn’t there to take over – she’s trained to help your partner know how to  support you.
  • A doula isn’t there to do any medical interventions or physical checks. She’s just there to hold the space for you to be in your power, to explain what’s going on, and to help you get through the hard times.
  • She also makes sandwich breaks possible for your partner!
  • A professional doula will meet with and your partner several times before the birth, and help you figure out what you want in an ideal situation and what you’d like to see happen in different scenarios.

It’s your birth, and you’ll remember it forever. Who’s in the room is up to you, so you can get the support you need to have a beautiful birth experience.

Why use a doula?

Doulas are trained to reduce stress and fear. 

Stress and fear can inhibit labor progress, increase discomfort and reduce your feelings of satisfaction about your birth experience. In studies, doulas are shown to reduce the risk of a Cesarean birth.

A lot of things happen during labor, and women are often in a slightly altered state. The doula can explain what the healthcare provider has said, and give you the pro’s and con’s of your options. She also knows what you want in different situations and can support you in going in that direction.

A doula can suggest positions and do hands-on care to reduce discomfort and help labor progress. Some doulas come prepared with a toolkit of aromatherapy, focal items, and oils.­ Others just use their voice and eyes.

doula pregancy medical team

How to choose a doula

Google local doula services and let them know your budget.

Some doulas have the training and the enthusiasm, just not the experience – and they can be very affordable. If you have a low budget, reach out to local doula trainings or DONA and see request a doula in training.

Invite three doulas over (not at the same time) to sit at your kitchen table with you and your partner and talk.

After, ask each each other:

  • How will you feel about spending a day or two in a room with this person?
  • How will you feel about being very intimate with her?
  • How well will you all work together as a team?

Like so much of your pregnancy journey, educate and meditate.

doula educate meditate pregnancy

What if my partner isn’t into the idea of using a doula?

It makes sense that your partner would want to share this experience with just you. But once partners realize that having a doula allows them to support the woman they love with the confidence of not being alone and solely responsible for everything at the birth, they are usually all for it. Invite three doulas over, and see how you both feel!

We wish you the best as you assemble your birth team and we hope you feel empowered, supported, and guided during the whole process!

You may feel inspired during a meditation or a yoga class so please feel free to join us online!

                     Download our What Is A Doula PDF to share with your partner

Thank you for spreading the Ma love!

Related Posts

Sarah Kate Bode yoga community for pregnancy

Community is a Much Deeper Need for Pregnancy

I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant in 2021 after years of trying and being diagnosed with PCOS. I had received my 200 hour YTT certification in 2020 and knew how much yoga would help my changing and growing body, however, I couldn’t find any prenatal yoga courses or programs locally, I had just moved from a big city to a much smaller rural town and I just didn’t have a community yet…

Read More »
jessea weideman Certified Ma Yoga Instructor

Becoming a Beginning Teacher Again by Jessea Wiedeman, Certified Ma Yoga Instructor

Sometimes as a yoga teacher you forget two things: One is that not everyone is going to like the style of your teaching and two, you forget to continue to be a student of the practice. I felt this way for a little over a year about the avenue of what type of yoga I want to focus on teaching and how I could get more experience to be able to feel confident in my teaching skills. This is when I found Ma Yoga.

Read More »

The Yoga of Birth Outline

Discover the ingredients of an authentic, empowering birth and postpartum.