What to Expect from a Doula at Your Birth



Did you know…

  • All studies done on doula support show favorable outcomes for both mothers and babies? No adverse side effects have ever been found! 
  • Doulas help mothers AND babies? Mothers who use doulas are more likely to have shorter labors and fewer Cesarean births. Babies are also more likely to have better APGAR scores (used to determine baby’s overall health at birth).
  • A mother’s perception of birth is very important? Mothers who use doulas are more likely to report higher overall satisfaction with their birth experiences!

Visit Evidence on: Doulas (evidencebasedbirth.com) for more great doula statistics.

What to Expect from a Doula 

I have been a labor doula in the Des Moines area since 2010. When I became a doula, I thought my main role was going to be a “cheerleader” for mothers as they were giving birth. What I didn’t know then was the impact doulas can have on the overall birth experiences of birthing people and their babies, and how important births are in a person’s life. Doulas make a huge difference in the families of birthing people in our area!

Here are a few things you can expect when you have a labor doula on your birth team

  1. Your doula will help you know your options. Whether it’s planning for a hospital birth, unmedicated birth, home birth, epidural birth, planned cesarean, or unplanned cesarean, doulas help you know what is available to you and how to communicate with your providers to advocate for your wishes.
  2. Your doula will be an emotional support for you. We all know birth can be a highly emotional time and your doula has training to help you navigate all your emotions!
  3. Your doula will help you advocate for yourself and will also be an advocate for you too. 
  4. Your doula knows some awesome labor comfort options for both laboring at home and/or at the hospital! 
  5. Your doula can help your body prepare for a shorter and easier birth. Your doula knows the best tips and tricks to make birth more manageable!
  6. Your doula will support your choices—whatever they are! Doulas support people with epidurals, no epidurals, planned cesareans, VBACs, twins, high risk, and more!
  7. Your doula will support your partner too. Many of the families we work with have a partner who is a bit “skeptical” of having a doula there. They are afraid the doula will be there to replace them. This is definitely not the case! Doulas support partners through teamwork and fitting into the birth team as each family envisions.
  8. Your birth experience matters to your doula. Healthy moms and healthy babies is the baseline for doula support. We want you to not only have a healthy birth, but a positive, fulfilling, and supported birth too!

doula des moines moms blog katie nyberg

Finding Your Doula 

In Central Iowa, we have many fantastic doulas who each have a unique specialty and philosophy on birth. Check with your friends and family to see if they have recommendations or ask your doctor/midwife if they have any recommendations. You can also check with The Iowa Baby Ladies (shameless plug!) or the Central Iowa Doula Association as well. 

Doulas in our area offer free consultations so there’s no commitment until you find the right doula for your birth team! 


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