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The Doula Role

Doulas are...

  • client advocates

  • emotional & physical support people

  • sounding boards for questions, fears, goals & dreams

In its most basic definition, a doula is "a professional labor assistant who provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period." [4]

As a full-spectrum birthwork organization, Empowered Birthwork Services also identifies with The Doula Project's broader definition of a doula "as a trained compassionate person who provides individuals with non-judgemental emotional, physical, and informational support...throughout their pregnancy, allowing those individuals the ability to make healthy decisions for themselves, whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion." [2]

Your doula does not make decisions for you, but helps you to consider available options & form your own pregnancy & birth philosophy. Your doula will empower you to trust your instincts, knowing you have evidence-based resources to back you up. Your doula is an intuitive advocate who puts your needs & concerns at the forefront of your pregnancy, labor & birth experience.

Why should I hire a doula?

Working with a doula helps build reliable, compassionate & intentional support into your reproductive & pregnancy care experience. Your doula has opted into a career centered around caring for others and prepared to support clients from different backgrounds with their unique goals, hopes & fears. Doulas are trained to put personal opinions aside, be active listeners, and apply their knowledge while being sensitive to a client's particular needs.

The reality of pregnancy & childbirth today is often highly medicalized and impersonal. Hospitals may prioritize efficiency or fee-per-service business practices, incentivizing doctors to pressure people into cesarean births or to perform episiotomies without receiving proper consent. That is to say, medical staff & providers' goals and motivations may not always align with your feelings, goals, or boundaries. The role of a doula is to create space for pregnant & birthing people to truly consider their options, understand risks & benefits, and have time to make the best decision for themselves.

You may be pregnant and excited for the birth of your baby, but feeling lingering anxiety around the logistics of labor & delivery. Maybe you are pursuing an abortion, but are having trouble finding support from friends or family members. Regardless of your unique situation, you are deserving of comprehensive & unwavering support. You deserve to feel empowered in your own body & confident making decisions for the well-being of yourself and your family.

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