The word “doula,” also known as a “birth coach.” originates from the Ancient Greek word meaning, “a woman who serves.” A doula is a non-medical support person who assists a woman before, during, and after childbirth. She holds as a support role for the birthing mother as well as her partner and/or family by providing continuous physical assistance, emotional support, and information.
Numerous studies have shown that with the provision of continuous support during labor by a doula, labor is shorter with fewer complications; there is a reduced need for induction, interventions, pain medications and/or procedures; both mother and baby are healthier, and babies breastfeed more easily.
Statistically, studies have shown that having a doula's presence during labour results in:
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 50% reduction in Cesarean rate
- 25% shorter labour
- 40% reduction in the use of Pitocin
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
Information was obtained from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth -Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993)
A Doula’s Role:
- Stays with the birthing mother throughout labor, from the moment she is called until hours after birth
- Provides continuous emotional support, and physical comfort measures throughout labor
- Supports the family with providing information needed to make informed decisions
- Assists the woman and family in preparing for and carrying out her desired birth plan
- Understands and has studied the physiology of birth
- Holds and understands the emotional needs of the woman in labor
- Holds support and space for the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers be it a home or hospital birth
- Recognizes and holds the sanctity of the birth experience as a rite of passage that the mother and baby will remember for life
- During the time the woman reflects back on her memory of thebirth experience, she holds a nurturing and protective presence
Using her skills attained from her years of study and experience within the Pre- and –Peri-natal somatic Psychology and attachment field and Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy, Sarah holds a neutral support space for Mom and baby, holding as a fulcrum for the innate wisdom of birth to unfold in both mom’s and baby’s bodies, working together in harmony.