What’s A Doula?

In honor of World Doula Week (March 22-March 28), I’m blogging every day about different doula-y topics for Not Just Nine’s Blog Challenge.


The first topic is: What is a doula?

I was thinking about this post earlier and wondering what to write. Sure, there’s the same line we see everywhere (including here!) about “a doula is a non-medical support person trained in birth”, blah, blah, blah. Really, though, that doesn’t even come close to describing the unique role that we doulas often play in a family’s journey to parenthood. I find that much like we can’t quite convey *just exactly* what birth is like to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it, so too we can’t quite convey *just exactly* what a doula is and does during birth…partially because it’s not the same for each client and partially because “we bring you water and stuff” sounds insignificant until you’re actually in labor and you think: if I don’t get that drink of water right now I’m going to die of thirst…oh, it magically appeared in front of me! 

So, instead of directly answering the question, I present to you the following for

What is a Doula?

A Doula…. answers your call at 3am, 3pm or any time in between (And do be sure to call instead of text for urgent matters. We doulas have trained ourselves to sleep through pretty much everything, except the loudest, most obnoxious ring tone we could find, which just so happens to be the same one we use for you, the client. No cute little baby giggles here, more like Slash’s guitar solo from Sweet Child O’ Mine!)

A Doula… happily receives your picture texts wondering if that really is your mucous plug. And reassures you that you’re not the only one who sends them.

A Doula… listens intently as you talk about your wildest dreams and biggest fears for your pregnancy, labor and the birth of your baby. Nothing is too small or too much to hear.

A Doula… looks you directly in the eyes when you say, “I can’t go on anymore” (or some version of this) and says, “Yes, you can. You ARE doing it.” And should you find yourself having a birth differently than you hoped and planned for, your doula looks you in the eye and says, “You ARE doing it. It is okay to be upset and relieved and scared and happy all at the same time. There is no failure in birth.”

A Doula…  serves clients having planned cesareans, VBACs, water births, home births, hospital births…you name it, we serve it. Without judgment. Without pushing our own agenda. It is YOUR birth, YOUR body, YOUR baby, and we serve YOU.

What did having a doula mean to you? How would you describe a doula?


In my years of being a doula in the Rolla area, I have yet to get feedback from a client who felt the investment of hiring a doula was anything other than totally worth it. To find out more about doula services from Summer Birth Services, or one of the many other offerings available, simply fill out the contact form below, call 573-202-5386 or email summer@summerbirthservices.com

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