Birth Doula & Childbirth Education Services
Laura Stavoe Harm
A doula is a woman who accompanies a woman in labor and mothers the mother, taking care of her and her partner's emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth.
Historically in the west and still in most cultures, women give birth surrounded by their mothers, sisters and other women family and friends. When our culture moved birth out of the home and into the hospitals, we took away individual support from the laboring woman’s female community. We left women alone to labor in a highly medicalized environment. In the 1970s, women began to ask for their partners to be present. Families had moved away from one another, and there was much less focus on extended family, so it made sense that the woman wanted her partner to be with her to fill that void. However, for the partner, this is often a new and powerful situation, as well. Both the mom and the partner can benefit from support during this incredibly intense time.