Doulas and Childbirth

A doula doesn't...

... perform clinical tasks, such as giving vaginal exams, taking blood pressure readings, or administrating medication...these types of tasks are the responsibility of the clinical staff. Her only concern is the physical comfort and emotional well-being of the birthing mother.

... take the place of the birthing mother's partner. On the contrary, her presence can lessen a partner's anxiety, allowing him/her to participate in the birth at his own level of comfort.

... make decisions for the couple. She provides information to empower the couple to make their own personal choices, and supports those choices.

... intervene between the couple and the medical staff. She will, however, facilitate that communication.

... leave the couple at shift changes. She is with the birthing mother throughout her labor and for the important period of time following birth.

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©Karen N. Kilson