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Doula Services


What is a Doula?

The word "doula" is derived from the Greek language and is an old custom revised. It is used to describe someone who provides support to a woman and her family during her childbearing year and who is trained in the process of labour and childbirth. Many other terms are used interchangeably for this support person, such as: labour companion, birth companion, labour assistant, labour "coach", etc. Our Doulas’ primary function is to "accompany women in labour to help ensure more satisfying birth experiences", as we believe that women instinctively know how to give birth and do not require a "coach" or "assistant".

MACFE Doulas draw on their knowledge and experience to provide physical comfort and emotional support. As well they help ensure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labour. They can provide reassurance, make suggestions for labour progress and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. A Doula embodies women's wisdom. She is a compassionate woman that tunes in to the needs of the mother and mothers her.

Your Doula works for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Doulas do not...

  • perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, foetal heart checks, or vaginal exams.
  • make decisions for you. A labour companion will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Recent studies show that trained labour support can...

  • reduce the length of labour by up to 25%.
  • reduce the need for pain medication by up to 30%.
  • reduce requests for epidurals by up to 60%.
  • reduce the likelihood of a Cæsarean section by 50%.
  • improve the relationship between mother and child.
  • help the father participate with confidence.
  • help with successful breastfeeding. (Mothering the Mother/The Doula Book, Klaus, Kennell and Klaus).
A Doula enters the space of a labouring woman and is highly responsive and aware of her needs, moods, changes, and unspoken feelings. She has no need to control or smother. Every pregnant woman should have the benefits of a Doula. This person does not detract from the role of the baby's father or co-parent, by the way. It enhances it and leaves him (or her) free to do the very important job of loving the mother (Christiane Northrup, M.D. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom).

Read the accounts of two women who sought the services of a trained doula.

MACFE Doula services are provided for a one-time fee of $475. Families who meet low-income criteria are encouraged to contact MACFE for information regarding fee-assistance programs.

"If a Doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it."
- Dr. John Kennell, Mothering the Mother