A doula is a trained professional that provides continual labour support for birthing mothers and their partners. A doula can help to:

- Shorten the length of labour
- Reduce the need for a caesarean section
- Decrease the need for medication
- Enhance bonding

There are two types of doulas: Birth doulas and postpartum doulas.

A birth doula will...

- Give physical and emotional support during birth
- Support the mother's birth choices
- Work with the father/partner to support the mother
- Stay with the labouring mother throughout her entire labour
- Meet with the mother before the birth to discuss birth plans and fears
- Provide information, not advice
- Respect privacy of clients
- Respect the sexual orientations and identifications of all clients
- Respect each clients's background and life experience

A postpartum doula will...

- Assist with newborn care
- Help with family adjustment
- Help to establish breastfeeding
- Offer non-judgemental support

A doula does not...

- Play a medical role
- Make decisions for the mother
- Replace a father/partner

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