A birth doula is a trained professional who comes along side the pregnant mom / partner and guides them through their prenatal, birth, and postpartum journey.
Iowa Doula Agency doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support before, during, and after your birth.

What a birth doula does…

  • Provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, and immediate postpartum
  • Encourage the use of comfort measures such as position changes, breathing, visualization, and massage
  • Promote relaxation through mental preparedness, awareness of what is happening during her labor, encouragement to ask questions
  • Help support partner so that s/he can best support the laboring mom
  • Continuous presence during the birth

What a birth doula does not…

  • Perform medical tasks, such as heart tone, blood pressure, or cervical assessments
  • Contradict the medical opinion of the client’s care provider
  • Take over the role of the husband or partner
  • Deliver the baby

Evidence for Doulas

Decreased use of Pitocin 31%
Decreased risk of C-section 28%
Increased chance of vaginal birth 12%
Decreased use of pain meds 9%
Decreased chance of NICU stay 14%
Decreased risk of dissatisfaction with birth 34%

Statistics and graphic courtesy of Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN,

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What a postpartum doula does…

  • Emotional, physical, and informational support in the home after the baby is born
  • Help to bring mom comfort and healing in whichever way she needs, such as with healthy meals, preparing cold packs for the perineum, etc
  • Provide basic newborn care and feeding information (breast or otherwise)
  • Support the family by providing sibling care and caring for the baby so that mom / partner can rest
  • Basic household chores such as light cleaning, folding laundry, meal preparation, or necessary errand running

What a postpartum doula does not…

  • Perform medical tasks, such as fundal or blood pressure checks, bleeding assessments, lip/tongue tie diagnoses, etc
  • Contradict the medical opinion of the client’s care provider
  • Take over the role of the partner unless desired. Instead, the doula will support both mom and partner so that the partner can best support the mom after the doula leaves.
  • Mental health diagnoses. Instead, basic mental health assessments / referrals may be made.
  • Watch siblings or other children on a continuous / sole basis

Postpartum Doulas: Your help for after baby. Give yourself permission to indulge in this time.

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Bereavement Doulas

More information about our bereavement doula program coming in January 2017.