“Doula” is a Greek word meaning “women’s servant”. Women have been serving women in childbirth for centuries. According to the Doula Association of North America (DONA), a doula is a “trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth” (DONA). Doulas can offer a variety of support as well as a bridge of communication between the family and the health care provider. Most doulas provide home support before it is time to come to the birth center which can be invaluable if your early labor is lengthy.
A doula is not a medical provider, nor do they take the place of one. At Beach Cities Midwifery our Birth Assistants are initially trained as doulas or are nurses with education in labor support. When you are at the birth center our birth assistants provide labor support and will give you compassionate care, but they must also support the midwife with any medical needs. The Birth Center team is comfortable working with community doulas during labor and birth and if you would like to have a personal doula we strongly encourage you to hire one. If you would like a list of doulas that we have worked with our front office staff or midwives will happily supply some ideas.