"What's a doula?"
A fair question. What IS a doula, anyhow?
Simply put, a doula is a woman who serves. We support and comfort, focusing all of our efforts and attention on another woman: The Pregnant Mother. If you're in that stage, you might be searching for someone who will provide the one thing you can't provide for yourself--reassurance. "Is this normal? Is this something I should be worried about? Can I DO this? I'm not sure I'm strong enough!"
As a doula, I am always honored to walk beside The Pregnant Mother, providing my five years of experience through dozens of pregnancies and births (along with five of my own beloved children!) When you are asking these questions as they well up inside of you, I am there to hear you out, encourage you, and remind you of your inherent strength. If you have a very supportive husband, you might wonder if a doula is even beneficial. "Can't my husband support me? He always has." As well he should! But I venture to guess this upcoming birth will be one of his first. I love to work with both The Pregnant Mother and The Loving Husband to draw on their relationship as a means of support.
Commonly during labor, I might be reassuring and providing a physical comfort measure--squeezing hips, applying counterpressure, etc.--while The Loving Husband strokes hair out of the face of his beloved and remarks on her strength and beauty, perhaps praying with and for her. The Pregnant Mother is performing the hardest, and arguably most valuable, work of her life, and she should be supported at all times by all around her.