Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes to us from New York City doula-extraordinaire Erica Shane. We asked Erica to write about being a doula in honor of Pregnancy Awareness Month. Her explanation of her profession and its relation to choice is fascinating and touching. Enjoy!
What is a birth doula? According to DONA (Doulas of North America), a doula provides support to a woman and her partner throughout the childbearing year. She does not replace the partner in labor; instead, she helps support them so that they can focus on loving and encouraging the laboring woman. Doulas assist families in gathering information about their pregnancy, labor and the options available for delivery. They provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before and during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period. The intent of a doula is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying experience, as the woman defines it.