Sarah Hadjes, Certified Doula with DONA International

Sarah is currently taking some extended time off.
There are lots of great doulas in our area, one of my favorites is Sarah Osborne at

What is a doula?

Doula is from a Greek word that means 'trusted servant'. A doula today offers professional labor assistance. Usually a woman, she acts as a knowledgeable support person to comfort, aid and encourage the laboring woman as she works through the birth of her child and emerges as a mother. Doulas are trained and experienced to support mothers and fathers in all settings; hospitals, birth centers and homes.

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula's presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one's childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • reduces the mother's request for pain medication and/or epidurals

Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • feel more secure and cared for
  • be more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • have greater success with breastfeeding
  • have greater self-confidence
  • have less postpartum depression

Doulas offer support through a variety of methods:

  • consistent words of encouragement
  • massage
  • aromatherapy
  • suggestions for alternate labor positions and comfort measures
  • facilitating a calm productive environment
  • gentle confidence that is found through experience

Whatever the hopes, dreams and expectations you have for your birth experience, a doula's role is to offer constant support throughout your birth, specifically suited to your physical and emotional needs.