Definition of a Doula
The professional Doula is the ultimate birth companion for the birthing woman and her partner. The Doula is extremely successful in providing for the best birth outcomes possible. Part of their success story lies not only in women’s increased feelings of satisfaction during the birth of their babies but also in the reduction in the need for pain relief and interventions.
Doulas DO NOT provide medical, nursing or any midwifery care, nor do they comment on, interpret or judge this care. The doula provides three types of support:
- General informational support
- Emotional support
- Physical support
Doulas focus on the experience of birth for the mother, her partner and the new baby. Their aim is to enhance the birth process and they are equipped with the knowledge and strategies that pave the way for the best birth experience possible.
Babies' fathers love having a Doula to work throughout the labour because they remove the stress factor and enhance their support techniques. Plus the Doula has met with the couple throughout the pregnancy and knows exactly what they want for the birth.
Research shows that as a result of a Doula at the birth there is,
- 50% reduction on caesarean rates.
- 25% shorter labour.
- 60% reduction in epidural requests.
- 40% reduction in syntocinon use.
- 30% reduction in analgesia use.
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery.
Reference, Klaus, Kennell and Klaus 1993
Thanks to ~melliefive~ for providing the above information.
Definition of a Midwife
"A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery.
"The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice to during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in the mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance when necessary and the carrying out of emergency measures when necessary.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman but also within the family and the community. The work should involve antenatal
education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
"A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics, or health units."
The International Definition of a Midwife, as accepted by the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the World Health Organisation and the Australian College of Midwives.
I've taken this from a pinned topic in this forum, the information about a MW was written by pp Melissam12.
eta, the Doula information does read a bit like an advert (the first part anyway) whilst the MW information is standard throughout the world.
I "think" the doula role is formalisation of the traditional birth attendant role. Please forgive me doulas if I have that wrong
The 2 roles can work very well together in an ideal world.