What is a Doula?

"Doula" (pronounced "doola") is a Greek word meaning "woman servant or caregiver". It now refers to an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth.
A doula supports the image of birth as a normal, natural process. She understands that women need caring support, someone to tell them that what they are feeling is normal, and someone who will accompany them and their family throughout the labor and birth.
Hence, a doula believes her duty is in "mothering the mother" and enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mom.
This type of support and empowerment is provided in a practical and calming fashion. The doula suggests coping strategies such as massage, breath-work and varying positions to ease the pain of labor and to shorten its length. The doula does not take the place of family and friends, she is there to assist and support them, so that they may relax and play an active role in the birthing experience.

Birth doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth, although they may or may not have given birth themselves. They have a good knowledge and awareness of female physiology BUT the doula is not supporting the mother in a clinical role - that is the job of the medical staff.
Before Childbirth the doula will usually meet with the mother (or couple) at least once face to face, and then be available by phone & email or for additional meetings, if necessary. If the couple wishes, the doula will attend a few doctor appointments as well.
During Labour the doula is able to offer help and suggestions on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. The doula can also encourage the father to participate in the birth to a level at which he feels comfortable. The doula's most important role is to provide nurturing, continuous support and reassurance.
After childbirth the doula will follow up with a postnatal visit to help the new mom settle at home with her new baby.
All this for only $500.oo
For your convenience, the fee is split in two installments.
50% of the fee will be paid at your first prenatal appointment with the remaining amount due by the 38th week of your pregnancy when the doula goes on call for you.
Benefits of a Doula

  • 50% Reduction in Cesarean Sections
  • 60% Reduction in requests for epidural anesthesia
  • 40% Reduction in the need for Forceps or assisted Delivery
  • 25% Shorter Labors
  • 40% Reduction in the need for Oxytocin
  • 30% Reduction in analgesia use
  • Fewer Cases of Postpartum Depression
  • Increased success with Breastfeeding
  • Increased confidence and participation by the father/partner
Source: Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Kennell, Klaus, and Kennell (1993).

MEET the DOULA ...

Rashella D'Amico has been serving women since 2000.
She holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology.
Much of her research has been centered around post-natal depression and the psychology of women.
Influenced by this research she became a certified doula in 2005.