What is a doula?
A doula is a professional who supports people through major life changes. At Carriage House Birth, our affiliated doulas focus on labor, loss and the postpartum experience. They are experts trained to provide emotional, physical, psychological, and/or educational support to families during the perinatal process.
The distinction between a doula and a clinical birth professional is simple: while midwives and OB-GYNs provide intermittent medical care before, during, and immediately after delivery, doulas exist as a constant support system for the pregnant parent they are serving.
Make no mistake, doulas do not, nor are they trained to, provide medical support or care. They are responsible for continuous comfort and emotional care, as well as answering any relevant questions for the pregnant person and their partner if they have one. The doula's primary mission is to highlight choice, offer education, and be a beacon of calm for the family through the process at large.
A recent study conducted by Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth indicates that having a doula present on the birth team had the following positive effects: a decrease in the overall cesarean rate by 50%; a decrease in the length of labor by 25%; a decrease in the use of synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) by 40%; and a decrease in requests for an epidural by 60%. With this information at hand, Carriage House Birth looks to inform, educate women and families (both those currently expecting and those looking to start families) as well as train more doulas throughout the world.