A birth doula forms a relationship months in advance of delivery day, helping mom prepare for her ideal birth experience and birth plan. A birth doula is able to attend hospital births, home births and birthing center births and serves as emotional and physical support for the laboring mother and her family. Doulas can also act as an informal liasion, providing educational resources between a midwife or doctor and the family members in the event critical decisions must be made.
Doulas have been linked to overall maternal and infant stress, lower cesarean rates, less frequent inductions, shorter length of labor, and other interventions are significantly reduced. Mothers typically report greater satisfaction with their birth experience in general.