What is a Doula? How Do Doulas Help Child Birth?

Doula is a word of Greek origin and loosely translates as “female servant.” In today’s world, the title represents a trained and experienced woman who provides knowledgeable care and supportive services to childbearing women and their families during their “Childbearing Season”.

Sacramento Area Hospitals - Birthing Options

Expecting mothers and families in the greater Sacramento area are fortunate to have an extraordinary network of hospitals that specialize in childbirth. So which one's better: UC Davis Med Center? Mercy General? The new Sutter Medical Center/Anderson Lucchetti Women's and Children's Center ? What about the Kaiser Permanente facilities in South Sacramento or Roseville? It depends on where you live in Sacramento and birth plan that fits your needs.

Sacramento Area Birthing Hospitals >>

5 Common Questions About Using a Doulas

Will the birth doula make my partner feel unnecessary? Does the birth doula make decisions on my behalf? What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?

Concerns Expecting Mothers Have >>

When Interviewing a Doula, What Questions Should I Ask?

When interviewing one of My3Doulas, most likely you will have two of us at the interview. In the event that the primary doula that you hire is unavailable, due to illness or family emergency, you will have already met one of her back-ups.

What You Should Look for in an Experienced Doula >>

A Birth Doula

A birth doula provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. Studies have shown that when doulas attend a birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

1. Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
2. Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
3. Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
4. Stays with the woman throughout the labor
5. Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make an informed decision
6. Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
7. Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
8. Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
9. A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA)

A Postpartum Doula

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

1. Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
2. Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
3. Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary

4. "Mother the mother", and help the family transition into life with a newborn. 

5. Offers assisting at night so the parents can get some needed sleep


What a Doula is Not

While doulas are well-informed about new mothers and babies, they are not medical care providers and are not licensed to perform medical services or treatment of any kind. Nor does a doula insist on a particular parenting style or provide heavy housecleaning.

Reducing Infant Mortality and Improving the Health of Babies (video)