A doula (also referred to as a labour attendant, labour coach) is considered the non-medical person who provides continuous physical and emotional support and assistance to a woman before, during and after childbirth. A doula also helps the birthing mother’s partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support. Having this continuous support during labour and birth is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.
While the goal of an OBGYN or midwife is a safe childbirth, the goal of a doula is to ensure the mother feels safe, comfortable, confident, informed and supported before, during, and after the birth of her baby. Doulas cannot make or voice decisions for the birthing couple nor can they intervene the actions of the attending midwife, RN, obstetrician or other medically licensed professional active during labour and birth. Doulas help the birthing couple ensure that they are active participants within their healthcare team every step along the way.
A mother who feels safe, comfortable, confident, informed and supported is able to relax and allow the natural process of labour and birth to happen.
Many studies have shown significant benefits of having a doula present during labour and birth:
Benefits to mother
Lower rates of intervention use during labour and birth
Lower rates of epidural use
Lower C-section birth rate
Higher levels of reported satisfaction
Benefits to baby:
Lower rates of fetal distress
Lower rates of low APGAR score at 5 minutes after birth
Higher rate of breastfeeding initiation
Lower admittance rates into the NICU
Doula services are currently offered out of our downtown Toronto clinic location only.
If you would like more information about our Doula services or our Naturopathic doctor who is a trained Doula, please call us at 416 532-9094 or email.