Doula

A doula is not a doctor and they are usually not trained in delivering babies but they are present during the labor and delivery phase of the birthing process. The meaning of the word “doula” is “a woman who serves.” A doula’s job is to provide emotional support to women who are pregnant in labor and who have just given birth. They work to help women prepare for giving birth and they are often present during births in order to help women cope with the pain associated with labor. The role of a doula is not to take the place of a spouse or a partner a doctor or any other medical professional in the birthing room but rather a doula’s presence is primarily to assist in maintaining the comfort level of the woman in labor. After babies are born new mothers usually go through a transitional period and doulas help ease the new mothers into their new responsibilities. Some of the assistance that postpartum doulas offer includes helping with meals providing advice helping around the house and teaching the new mothers how to take care of their babies. According to the website healthcareers.about.com doulas provide emotional support and relief to new mothers and their spouses who may be under a great deal of stress before during and after the birth of their babies. When not helping a specific woman with the birth of her baby many doulas teach classes to expectant mothers and fathers. Doulas must be certified and there are several certifying organizations with the most popular being DONA International. According to the website www.simplyhired.com doulas earn approximately $46000 per year.

Education Required: High School Diploma and Certificate/License
Avg Salary: $46000
High Salary: $51000
Low Salary: $41000
Tasks: Provides emotional support to women giving birth.
Understand the needs of women in labor.
Stays with women while they are giving birth.
Assists with babies after they are born.
Also Called: Midwife
Labor Coach
Birth Instructor
Postpartum Specialist
Additional Resources: http://www.dona.org/mothers/index.php
http://healthcareers.about.com/od/healthcareerprofiles/f/doula.htm
http://pregnancy.about.com/od/doula1/p/How-To-Become-A-Doula.htm