The technical and literal translation of the word "doula" is Greek in origin, and means, “Woman who serves”. More specifically, a doula is a person who serves other women (and their families) during and after pregnancy, as well as during labor and childbirth. From a less technical standpoint, I have found my role as a doula to also include being a friend, guide and ultimate cheerleader. I will be there to comfort you when you are scared, offer you encouragement when you are exhausted, let you know that you are safe, and that birth is a completely normal journey that your body knows how to take. In fact, childbirth can be an incredibly beautiful and transformational process for both you and your partner - even when it doesn't go the way you hoped or planned it would!
The role of a doula is not a medical position. I do not replace a nurse, doctor or midwife, but instead work with them. As a doula, I cannot do any medical tests, cervical checks, give medical advice or prescribe medications, etc... However I can offer you basic Childbirth Education, comfort measures, emotional and spiritual support, access to evidence-based research to help you make informed decisions regarding your birth plan, and I am happy to refer you on to other professionals when something is beyond my scope of practice.
As a doula, I assist in making sure you and your partner clearly understand any and all of the options available to you, and then I will support whatever choice you make. This same principle applies to communication between you and your primary caregiver. Communication styles can differ from person to person, yet I really understand the value of clear, open and harmonious communication in the relationships between you and your caregivers during birth. To that end, I am happy to assist with mediating uncomfortable conversations- making sure you understand what is being said, exploring how you feel about what’s going on and helping you find courage to speak up for yourself or your partner, when it’s necessary. Please know that I cannot (and will not) ever speak for you, however I will do my best to foster harmony, trust and clear communication between you and everyone involved in your birth experience.
To learn more, reach out to Cindy.
According to a study done in 1993 by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus (cited in "Mothering the Mother"), having a doula present at a birth supports:
- 50% reduction in c-section rates
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 30% reduction in pain medication use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- 40% reduction in Pitocin use