Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Doula or Not to Doula?

Wondering what a doula does? You're about to get the answer. 

This post comes from Doula Melissa, a certified birth doula and birth doula trainer with DONA International. She's based out of Utah and is in seriously high demand, so you have to book her fast. And believe me, you want to. It was because of this woman that my husband and I had such an awesome birth experience. Read on!


Easier Labor and Birth? Yes!

When I tell people what I do, some people still say, "You're a what?" But when I started, 14 years ago, almost no one knew what a doula was. In the years since, pregnancy magazines, birth books, blogs and doctors offices have touted doulas as the greatest new help for laboring mamas.
Birth doulas accompany women and their partners in labor, providing emotional support and physical comfort. They facilitate communication with caregivers to keep clients fully informed, provide reassurance and perspective and help with pain management, relaxation, positioning and other labor support techniques.

The word doula comes from the Greek word meaning "a woman who serves." Studies have shown that a doula’s presence at births results in shorter labors with less complications, fewer requests for pain medications and/or epidurals and a reduction in labor-enhancing drugs (Pitocin), forceps, vacuum extraction and cesareans. Doula care has also been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of postpartum depression.

I started on the path of childbirth professional in 1994 when I had my first baby. I had a very difficult yet empowering and ultimately very good experience because I had been so well educated by an amazing childbirth educator. Soon after, I myself became certified as a childbirth educator. I was thrilled to be working with pregnant women and two years later became a certified doula. I've since worked with hundreds of pregnant and birthing women and their partners. In 2002 I became an approved doula trainer with DONA International, and have been privileged to train many, many women in the art of "doula-ing."

As a doula, I typically do a prenatal visit with my client one to two months before her due date. Here we discuss what kind of birth she wants, what comfort measures she likes, how involved her partner wants to be and how I can facilitate that role, and many other things. I attend the entire labor and birth, beginning when she needs me, applying the tools and techniques mentioned above, and stay one to two hours postpartum to make sure she's comfortable and that breastfeeding is going well.

I always do free consultations so you can meet me, ask me questions, and decide if I'm the right fit for you. Please contact me if you're interested in a consultation or if you have any questions.

Blessings in Birth!


  1. There is no question in my mind. DEFINITELY a doula. Especially for those mamas who opt for an unmedicated birth. Absolutely priceless.

  2. Here I am, commenting on my own blog. But I have to agree with Carly. The amount you pay for a doula is a *small* price compared to how much they help you. And it takes a lot of pressure of your hubby, too. Melissa made us breakfast and lunch and took care of me while my husband took a much-needed nap.

  3. Ugh!! This has been on my mind SO MUCH lately!! I am still kinda back and forth, I KNOW the benefits of one but I'm not sure if it's right for me. I dunno, we'll see. I don't want even my mom in the delivery room and I think she'd be mad knowing a doula gets to be there, haha. Plus I'm kinda looking forward to feeling like "we did it!" with us two. *sigh* we'll see. Maybe with baby #2 we'll try one!


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