What you need to know about doulas
A doula is a trained professional who provides ongoing tailored support to their clients, pregnant women, throughout the maternity period, birth process, and early post-partum time. They perform a similar role to midwives, but unlike midwives they’re not qualified medical professionals and so can’t administer medication, provide medical advice, or manage the delivery itself.
The service practiced by doulas goes back thousands of years, but the modern form dates back to the 1960s when low-intervention births began to become popularised in the US. A doula’s duty is to provide a constant stream of emotional, mental, and physical support to their client, tailoring their support to suit individual needs.
A doula is not a replacement for medical professionals such as gynaecologists and midwives, who should still be appointed if required, but they can provide additional support that helps to make the process of pregnancy and birth more comfortable and approachable. They’ll often have significant experience supporting expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy, which they can draw from to bring comfort where it’s needed.
While the specific of the role depend on what it is you need, doulas will commonly provide education, non-medical pain management, and emotional support. They can typically be appointed at any point during the pregnancy, but will most often get involved during the third trimester. From then on, they’ll be on hand to help ease stress, provide reassurance, and more.
If you’re looking for a doula to support you or a loved one during pregnancy and the birthing process, find a suitable expert near you with My Health Assistant.