Open to Creation Birth Services
Serving San Francisco & Monterey Bay Area

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What is a Doula?

The word "Doula" comes from Ancient Greece, meaning "a woman who serves". Today it is used to refer to a woman who is a trained, experienced professional that provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to women and their partners (or any other person who will be attending the birth) before, during and after their birthing time (birth doula); or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period (postpartum doula). The information contained on these pages will focus on the birth doula services.  

What a doula does:


  • Recognizes birth as a key life experience that you will remember forever.
  • Understands the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy.
  • Understands the spiritual and emotional needs of the expectant mother.  
  • Assists women in preparing for, and carrying out her and her partners wishes for birth.
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor, birth and immediate postpartum.
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping mom and her partner obtain proper information to make informed decisions.
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and the clinical care providers.
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience.
  • Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level. 

What a doula does NOT do:


  • Does not perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc.
  • Does not give medical advice.
  • Does not make decisions for her clients.
  • Does not talk to the hospital staff on your behalf.



 Benefits of Doula Attended Birth 

  • Shortens labor by 25% 
  • Decreased need for narcotic pain medication
  • Decreased need for assisted delivery (Vacuum) 
  • Decreased need for labor augmentation
  • Reduced overall cesarean section rate 
  • Decreased requests for epidural 
  • Increased positive feelings of childbirth experience
  • Increased mother/infant bonding
  • Increased success and satisfaction with breastfeeding
  • Decreased postpartum depression
  • Increased acceptance of infant
  • Decreased neonatal problems
  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Increased satisifaction and confidence in partner



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