Birth doulas are contracted by clients to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and partner during pregnancy, birth & early post-partum. A doula recognizes birth as a key experience that will be remembered throughout a woman’s life. Doulas understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of labouring women. They encourage birth partners to participate in the planning and birth process in a manner that feels comfortable.
Doulas offer a free introductory meeting to learn about your wishes, explain their services, and to give the potential clients and the doula a chance to decide if it feels right to work together. Once hired, birth doulas meet with their clients prenatally to get acquainted, learn about prior birth experiences (if applicable), help prepare clients for birth, inform them of options, and learn about their needs and wishes. As due-dates approach the doula is on-call to attend the labour and birth. Birth doulas stay with clients through the birth process until the family is settled; usually one to two hours after the birth. Birth doulas check in with clients in the early hours and days. For longer term postpartum care, please consider the services of a postpartum doula.
“The presence of a Doula reduces the overall c-section rate by roughly 45 percent, length of labour by 25 percent, oxytocin use by 50 percent, pain medication by 31 percent, the need for forceps 34 percent and requests for epidurals 10 to 60 percent.” – Marshall H. Klaus, M.D.
Birth Doula Scope of Practice
- The doula will provide quality, evidence-based information and support to the client and partner (if applicable) during the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods.
- The doula will not perform clinical or medical tasks.
- The doula will not speak for the client. The doula helps the client advocate for herself by encouraging her to ask questions of her care provider and express preferences and concerns.
- The doula will not make decisions for the client. The doula will provide evidence-based information and support the client’s decisions.
- The doula will provide continuity of care. It is up to the doula to make back-up arrangements with another doula to ensure services for the client if the doula is sick or unable to attend.
- For needs beyond the scope of the doulas training, referrals are made to appropriate resources.
The Doula Scope of Practice as outlined in this document is recognized by Birth Ways International, CAPPA, DONA, and Doulas of Regina.
How to hire a doula
Once you’ve decided that you would like to include a doula in your birth team, you must then decide which doula would be the best fit for you. You can take a look through our member directory to see who might be available to join your birth team. Doulas offer a complimentary meet-and-greet, either in person or over the phone/internet. You can prepare your own questions, or feel free to click here to view and print our PDF with space for you to write notes. The doula with whom you feel the most comfortable is the one you should choose.
If you’re further along in pregnancy and are short for time, feel free to contact any of the Doulas of Regina, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. We are happy to refer you to other doulas as needed. We strive to respond to all inquiries within 72 hours, but if you feel we may have missed your message, please do reach out to us again.