Birth doulas offer physical support, emotional, support, partner support and evidence-based information and advocacy as outlined below:
- Physical Support: hands-on labour coping techniques (positions, breathing, visualizations), initial breastfeeding support
- Emotional Support: encouragement, presence, validation of feelings, helping partner feel attached (helps with hormones of love and creates birth cocoon where connection is nurtured and labour best progresses)
- Partner Support: gives partner ideas on how to support labouring mother, gives partner a food/nutrition break, normalizes and explains the sounds and experiences of labour
- Evidence-based information and advocacy: help sorting out conflicting information, offers local and on-line resources; reminds couples to ask about Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, No (Not now) to help mother and partner advocate for the information & options they desire.
Each birth doula’s services may differ, but may include 1 or 2 visits prenatally, a 24-hour on-call period where they are available to attend the birth of he baby, and usually at least one visit postpartum to debrief the birth and offer support.
*Sage Mama does not currently offer birth doula services. Please see Association of Doulas of Ontario for listings of doulas in your area.