What does a doula DO?

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers – strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

Barbara Katz Rothman

Although many say that doulas are an up-and-coming trend from the US, the doula historically is, other than the mother and baby, the oldest participant in the birth process. Earlier, they were the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters that passed on feminine wisdom over generations. The word “doula” as used in the English-speaking world originates from the ancient Greek word for “female servant,” but I find the German term more befitting – “Geburtsbegleiterin” or birth companion.

Birth is not only the beginning of life for the baby, it is an experience a mother will remember for the rest of her life. A mother should not have to fight for the birth she wants and needs, nor should she be a passive observer during a process in which she is so invested. This is where a doula steps in…a doula encourages a woman before, during and after birth, empowering her and helping her grow into her new role as a mother. She can then learn to embrace both the joys and challenges motherhood.

As your doula, I will provide the support you and your family need for a positive birth experience, including:

Physical support
Together we will explore options and I will teach you techniques for relaxation, massage, birth positions, etc. to ease labor and provide complimentary comfort.

Emotional support
As an experienced mother, I will provide you with compassionate and empathetic companionship, reassurance and encouragement during the difficult phases of labor and the challenges of the postpartum period. In times of need, I will also provide spiritual support to the best of my abilities, regardless of your religious preference.

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Informational support
As a trained birth doula, I will provide you with evidence-based information and resources regarding perinatal topics, including understanding the birth process, exploring various forms of pain management, collecting and understanding the benefits and risks of medical interventions, etc.

Communication support
Having your voice heard is the most influential aspect of a positive birth experience. For this reason, I find it imperative to help you communicate effectively. As I am fluent in English and German and experienced in intercultural communication, I will do my best to minimize language barriers and resolve cultural misunderstandings.

Partner support
It is just as important to me that your partner have a positive birth experience. If you plan to have yours present, I will help your partner feel calm and informed throughout the birth process and demonstrate how he or she can best support you.

Find out about my specific services as a doula and how they are structured here.