A birth doula is a specially trained person who supports a couple through labor. Studies have shown quite a reduction in the number of medications and cesareans, and even the babies had higher scores after birth when their mothers were supported by a doula. The doula does not take the place of dad, but offers suggestions for comfort measures, shows the couple what is normal, empowers the woman through labor, and encourages them to negotiate for individual care. The doula is intuitive -- each laboring mother is different as some will need more hands-on help, some need help troubleshooting, some need the doula to exude the "you can do it!" attitude to get them through. The doula does not practice medicine and will not speak up on parents' behalf. Instead they will give parents input regarding options so the parents can decide what is best for them during labor.


  • Is aware of birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.
  • Understands the bodily processes of birth and the emotional needs of a woman throughout labor.
  • Supports the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth, as well as being prepared to be "un-prepared".
  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman from the moment she is called in and throughout the entire labor.
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions.
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers.
  • Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.
  • Maintains all information received from her clients as Confidential.


The cost to hire a doula will range depending on the experience of the doula. See a list of doulas.

Evidence-based research on benefits of a doula for laboring women --

Benefits of a Doula

Kathy Killebrew CCCE, CAPPA
[email protected]