Common Concerns About Using a Doula

Will the birth doula make my partner feel unnecessary?

No, a doula is supportive of both the mother and her partner and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he or she feels comfortable.

Does the birth doula make decisions on my behalf?

A doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She provides informational, physical and emotional support . while respecting a woman’s decisions. She can help you formulate questions to ask the medical staff so you can make the best decisions for your new family.

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?

The role of a postpartum doula is to help a woman through her postpartum period and to nurture the family. Unlike a baby nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for the entire family. The doula is as available to the father and older children as to the mother and the baby. Treating the family as a unit that is connected and always changing enables doulas to do their job: nurture the family.

How does the postpartum doula nurture the parents into their new roles?

Self-confidence has a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to approach any task, and parenting is no different. DONA International doulas are taught to always consider parents’ feelings and always build confidence whenever possible. Doulas accomplish this through praise, acceptance and a non-judgmental approach. In addition, the doula will teach parents strategies and skills that will improve their ability to bond with their babies. A calm baby who is growing well will help parents to feel more confident in their skills. Also, a postpartum doula does not promote any certain parenting approach. She is educated to support the mothers’ own parenting style. Doulas are good listeners and encourage mothers to develop their own philosophies.