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What is a Doula?

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

A Doula is not a Doctor or Midwife...
Perhaps explaing what a doula is NOT will illuminate the true sense of what she is. A doula is not a medical provider, she is not trained to make any medical choices. But she is trained about these procedures/interventions and can explain them to a laboring woman. She can offer alternate options to these interventions when chosen by the mother and when it is safe to do so.

A Doula does not replace the partner (He/She)...
A partners role in the birth is enormously important. The partner is connected to the laboring Mother and baby in a way that cannot be duplicated. The woman needs her partner. He/She alone can give this unique love and support. A partner cannot be objective. This is a crucial element of the doulas role. The doula has the ability to stay calm while a Mother is in pain. If the partner becomes worried or fearful the doula can assure them and provide more information about the birth process. A doula knows how to read the needs of everyone involved in the birth. She knows when to back away and when to move in and give a helping hand to the Partner. The doula can support the partner by preparing them for what comes next. 
Click                                                             to read about this special bond that can be created.


The way I see it...
When I am called to a labor I am willing and happy to support the family in many ways. I will physically support the laboring Mother. I will offer and help with postion changes, apply ice/heat packs, give pain relief massage/back labor pressure, wipe away tears, braid hair... whatever it takes.
I will feed and hydrate the laboring woman, the partner, or the whole family when needed. Even the dog! 
I am your doula and I will respond to your labor in a way that is unique to your family. Communicate your needs to me and consider it done! This is my commitment to you.



Studies have shown when a doula provides continuous support it:

Reduces rates of cesarean section

Reduces length of labor

Reduces the need for pain medication

Increases breastfeeding and enhances bonding

Reduces post partum depression

This powerful impact comes from the fact that a doula is committed and present to a Mother and her birth from the time she calls for you until the baby successfully latches. Her only responsibility and focus is the Mother and the family. She is in part responsible for the memory of the birth. A positive empowered birth memory has a huge impact on the baby and post partum period. A doula also meets a mother after the birth to debrief her on her birth. During this debriefing the mother can ask any questions and put to rest concerns that were left lingering.

The definition of Doula:

The impact of Doula support

2010 - present

2010 - present


The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University

July 2012 I took Penny Simkin's Birth doula Workshop. This course is the first step towards becoming a certified Birth Doula. Over the next year I will be taking clients at a reduced rate and documenting their births as part of this process. I plan to further my education continuously throughout my Doula career. This will ensure I have the most up to date information to support my clients to the best of my abilities. I will be taking a placenta encapsulation class within the next month!

​​Sweet Sparrow Birth Services

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