Doulas

What is a Doula?
The word, “doula,” comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.” (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
A doula…
  • Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical careproviders
  • Perceives her role as one who nutures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
  • The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants

Midwives

What is a Midwife?

Since the beginning of human history, women have helped other women in the transition to motherhood. Midwives are the primary health care providers in most countries where birth is an integral part of family life.

Countries with the highest rate of midwifery care today – emphasizing competent prenatal care, education, and empowerment for the woman giving birth – also have the best outcomes for mothers and babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared in 1990 that birth was actually safer for mothers and babies when utilizing midwifer for pregnancy and childbirth.

Midwifery is based on a strong belief in partnership with childbearing women and respect for birth as a normal life event. Midwives strive to empower parents with knowledge and support their right to create the birth experience which is best for them.

Midwives respect intimacy, privacy, and family integrity, and draw on their own patience and understanding to provide care during pregnancy and birth.

Midwives Today

The modern midwife is a health professional who provides holistic heath care to the childbearing woman and newborn. She respects a wide range of women’s need including personal and cultural values. Focusing on the natural processes of pregnancy, labor, and birth, she combines traditional skills and modern medical techiques to safeguard normal childbirth. The midwife maintains associations with physicians and other health care providers to ensure that mother and child have the best knowledge and technology available.

Midwives are the most time-honored and common primary caregivers for healthy women during their pregnancies and births in most countries throughout the world.

2015-2016 Resource Guide

The Resource Guide for 2015-2016 is available here for download HERE!

The Resource Guide is a directory of pregnancy and childbirth professionals as well as recommended reading lists and website recommendations.

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Download the 2013-2014 BIRTH Resource Guide HERE!