A doula spends time with the pregnant mother to understand her desires about childbirth and helps her prepare for the natural course of childbirth along with the expectations of labor and birth. The doula understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor and will give her continuous support throughout the entire labor and birth. Immediate postpartum support is given to the mother in the place of birth.
Doulas help moms in many birth settings, such as hospitals, in birthing centers or in the comfort of their home. Doulas work beside physicians, midwives and nurses.
Doulas help preserve the memory of birth, recognizing childbirth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life and may help lower the risk of postpartum depression.