What is a  Birth Doula?

A Doula is a person experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to parents before, during and just after childbirth.

A  Birth Doula:

Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the parent will remember all her/their life.

Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor.

Assists the parent and her/their partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.

Provides support for the laboring person from the point of being summoned, until after the birth of the baby.

Provides emotional support, education around physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the birthing person in getting the information she/they need to make good decisions.

Facilitates communication between the laboring parent, her/their partner and clinical care providers.

Perceives the doula role as one who nurtures and protects the parent's memory of her/their birth experience.

What is a doula and why do so many people want one?

Hey Nurses: Why Doulas Are Your New Best Friend

"A doula is the only professional in a hospital birth setting who is 100% on your side and there solely for your benefit. Nurses & doctors come in many flavors- good and bad- and you're never sure which combination of flavors you're going to get on the day of your birth. Your doula is a sure thing. A steady ally who is aware of your specific birth goals, your specific needs, your personality, your communication style, your family dynamics. Nothing can replace having an advocate who knows you & holds your perspective during the very vulnerable process of giving birth." Client Julia 2019.

 Studies have shown many benefits of birth doula care, including:

  • Improved physical and psychological outcomes for mother and baby
  • Shorter labors
  • Less use of synthetic oxytocin
  • Fewer cesarean births
  • Fewer deliveries using forceps and vacuum extractors
  • Fewer requests for pain medication
  • More successful breastfeeding
  • More positive postpartum outcomes for mother
  • Greater satisfaction with birth experience
For more on Birth Doulas, please refer to this article in

The Journal of Perinatal Education




Serving San Francisco Communities