What is a Certified Doula?

Doula is a Greek word which has come to mean a woman who helps other women, offering continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and after childbirth. As defined by the Doulas of North America (DONA), a doula:

  • recognizes childbirth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint
  • stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the labor
  • helps the woman get the information she needs to make thoughtful choices, both before and during the labor
  • facilitates communication between the laboring woman and the clinical care providers
  • works to nurture and protect the woman’s memory of her birth experience