Women have complex needs during childbirth. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.
Doulas are women who are educated and experienced in childbirth, and can help meet these needs. They are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth. They offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
What Does a Doula Do?
A Birth Doula:
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
Benefits of Having a Doula
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Meet Our Doulas
You can meet our doulas at our monthly "Meet the Doula" class at St. Francis Eastside
Request a Doula
If you are interested in having a doula present at your birth, please call 864-675-4400. You will be partnered with a doula and a back-up doula, and your doula will then contact you to set up a consultation.