What is a Doula?

The word Doula comes from ancient Greek and commonly refers to a woman who helps other women. In the childbirth setting, a Doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during, and just after childbirth. (Klaus, Kennel, and Klaus, in Mothering the Mother.) Additionally, a Doula may provide postpartum support and assistance for the new mother and baby.

A Doula:
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for the carrying out of their plans for the birth and stays with her throughout the entire labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers

The acceptance of Doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of the mothers and infants.

by Lori Ismail, mother of 4 wonderful children

Lori is a certified and experienced Bradley Method Birth Preparation Instructor, as well as a doula in the SF South Bay. Feel free to contact her for class information.

Lori Ismail AAHCC

Early Advantage Doula Services

Phone# (408) 871-0386

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