Hi there, thanks for asking!! I don't have a lot of time right now, so I will paste an excerpt from my volunteer flyer explaining what a doula is.. Hope this helps!
What is a doula?
A doula is a Labour Support Professional, or Labour Assistant. She is professionally trained to cater to a labouring mother's emotional and physical needs, as well as assist the mother to make informed decisions. A doula "Mothers the mother". The actual word doula is greek, meaning "woman servant"
Prenatally, I will assist you in putting together a birth plan, discuss your birth options, and help you obtain any information you may need. I will go over relaxation techniques, comfort measures and get to know you and your partner. You can call me 24 hours a day with any questions about your pregnancy, or birth plan. Near your due date, I will be on call 24/7 for the onset of labour.
My partner is going to be my birth coach, why do we need you?
A doula does NOT take the place of your partner. It is ideal for a labouring mother to have someone to pay direct attention to her at all times and cater to her every need. Although her partner may be present, this is an emotional time and he may find it difficult to focus on taking care of the mother as well as himself. A doula can provide the physical support the mother may need, as well as emotional support for both the mother and partner. Also, a doula can be as hands on as the couple wishes, this is all discussed in the prenatal visits.
What do you mean by physical support?
Physical support is the comfort measures a birth doula assists the mother with. Some of the measures include: applying counter-pressure for labour pain, massage, the application of hot or cold compresses, and assisting the mother into different labour positions.
Services I am willing to volunteer:
Prenatal visits; birth plans, basic childbirth education
24/7 Telephone support
At home early labour support
Hospital or birthing center labour support
Labour comfort measures