A midwife is a trained medical professional. A birth doula does not perform any medical tasks but actually complements the medical birth team with physical, emotional, informational and practical support. A doula is a highly trained professional who radiates confidence into the laboring woman. This results in a safer birth for you and your baby.
With the support of a doula, fathers are empowered to participate in birth at any level that feels right and natural for them. A doula can show him how the mother can best be supported. She can teach him specific tasks, allowing him to reach out to his wife in a more caring and nurturing fashion. In this way they can experience fully the joy and wonder of watching their babies come into the world. For father and mother, birth can then be a truly shared event—mutually moving, inspiring, and loving. A mother/friend can also work with the doula in a similar fashion.
Father’s often feel troubled as to how to best help their wife during labor. A doula can reach out to both parents. She empowers the dad to be the hero by showing him how the mother can best be supported. Doulas also help dads by easing the stress placed on them and allowing them guilt-free breaks. If he would like, she can teach him specific tasks, allowing him to reach out to his wife in a more caring and nurturing fashion. Dianne Lentine, a doula, told a dad "I won't be there telling her how much I love her. That's your job."
Doulas provide support and customized care. Their many benefits are available in any birth setting whether it be at home, in a birth center or in a hospital.
There is a reduced need for pain medication when a doula is present and their benefits are recognized during all types of births. Doulas support mothers choosing medicated, unmedicated, VBAC and Cesarean births.
Birth doulas cover aspects of birth that a nurse is not able to. Their care is customized to your specific needs and wishes. Before and after birth they provide valuable information and resources, and answer questions. During birth their care includes things like: early labor support at home (if requested), respiratory coaching, visualization, massage, aromatherapy, affirmations, encouragement, continuous support throughout birth and many more non-medical support techniques.