Doulas are no stranger to birth

By: Nicole McKay, CLD doula delivery

Doulas are becoming a common sighting in the birth room, no matter if you are birthing with a doctor or a midwife. They are the constant support from beginning to end. These trained, professional birth coaches really get what you want and what you are going through. Your medical staff will have shift changes and be looking after other people. Your doula is there for you and only you, and she stays a few hours after the baby is born. This unwavering support is only a small part of why birthing with a doula shortens your labour, reduces your needs of having medical interventions (like forceps, vacuum, epidurals, and even c-sections), more positive birth experiences, and healthier moms and babies.

The training a doula has helps her understand what is happening with the body during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. She also learns different techniques to help moms and dads feel comfortable physically and emotionally. Doulas are also trained to understand what happens during birth and won’t be put off if you yell, swear, or anything else that you may feel odd doing if it were a good friend or a family member in the room with you. They get it – and they help everyone supporting you get it too.

Having a doula means that someone will understand the emotional ups and downs of labour, will help translate your looks to the staff who may be chewing gum too loudly, and help you put the medical jargon you hear into the same language you understand. She helps make sure that you get the information you need about what is happening to your body and your baby, the pros and cons (and even alternatives) about procedures being suggested, and so much more.

A doula’s role is also to make your partner look amazing! Like he knows how to support birthing women and has been doing it forever. She can suggest different types of massage and positions for you both to be comfortable. Your partner is in for a ride too; it isn’t easy watching the one you love go through something you can’t explain and won’t go through. A doula knows how to explain what is happening but more importantly how to support the birthing mom, no matter his comfort level. Doulas aren’t just focused on the birthing mom, but the whole support team.

Hiring a doula is something that is done by the family usually during the second trimester, although anytime in the pregnancy would work. She would get to know you prenatally and really wants to understand your vision for your birth – and that might be one with very few interventions or one that is medicated. It isn’t her birth – it is yours she is supporting and she will never make choices for you. Other than attending the birth, she also visits you after the baby is born to check-in with how feeding is going and can answer questions about caring for your newborn. Those questions about what happened at the birth – she can answer those too and fill in missing gaps or explain what happened in a little more detail.

Looking for doula support? Zen Beginnings has a team of doulas who are ready to support your birth experience. For more information about birth doulas, please call 416-480-ZENN or e-mail





Become an
Baby Care Tips Member

for exclusive contests, articles and promotions!

Baby Care & Parents Information - Oh Baby! Magazine Canada