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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Doula

Introduction

A doula is a non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care, during childbirth and during the postpartum period. A birth doula is a continuous care provider for labor in many settings, also assisting the parturient woman during transport from home to hospital or birth center.

A postpartum doula may begin care in the home (nutritious cooking for the mother, breastfeeding support, newborn care assistance, maternal-child bonding support, errands, light housekeeping) the next day after the birth, providing services through the first six weeks postpartum. In some cases, doula care can last several months or even to a year post partum - especially in cases when mothers are suffering from post partum depression, children with special needs require longer care, or there are multiple infants.