What is a doula?

A doula is…

“a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”                                                               

DONA International


There is strong evidence showing the benefits of continuous support during labour. A large research review  found that women who had continuous support actually had shorter labours and were less likely to have pain medication, a caesarean delivery, or an instrumental delivery. The review also suggested that continuous support was most effective when it was provided by a person who was not hospital staff or a relative or friend of the woman. It concluded that ‘all women should have support throughout labour and birth’.

I wonder who could do that…. a doula! If reading long research reports isn’t your thing, check out this great infographic instead.