Doulas assist and educate mothers before, during and after pregnancy. They attend to the emotional and physical needs of the mother, while also providing support for family members. Doulas may also be known as birth assistants or labor support professionals.
By educating clients concerning the childbirth process, Doulas prepare parents for labor and delivery. They work with the mother and partner to develop a birth plan. Doulas often attend the actual delivery, offering emotional and physical support. They are not medical professionals and do not deliver babies or participate in the actual delivery of a baby.
Doulas may perform any of the following tasks:
- Teach expectant families about childbirth and what to expect during delivery.
- Provide advice during pregnancy related to nutrition, exercise and healthcare.
- Explain specific medical procedures such as receiving an epidural.
- Help clients develop a birth plan.
- Provide massage and other non-medical pain relief methods.
- Work with the partner to effectively support the expectant mother, physically and emotionally.
- Educate and support mothers with postpartum care including breastfeeding methods, infant care and healthcare for the mother.
Doulas are most commonly self-employed and clients pay them directly. A small number of doula agencies do exist.
Areas of Study
General Psychology & Social Services
General IT & Computer Science
General Criminal Justice