What is a Doula?

The word doula originated from the ancient Greek meaning “female servant” or “woman caregiver”. It refers to a person who provides physical and emotional support to an expectant mother before, during, and after childbirth.

What does a doula do?

- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.

- Discusses topics related to pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period.

- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her birth plan.

- Provides continuous support to the birthing mother throughout her entire labor.

- Recognizes that childbirth is a special event for both parents and encourages the laboring woman’s partner to be involved to

   the extent that he/she feels comfortable.​

- Acts as an advocate for the laboring mother and facilitates communication between her, her partner, and medical personnel.

- Displays professionalism with medical personnel and helps maintain a peaceful labor environment.

- Encourages the laboring woman to ask questions regarding her care, and assists her in finding adequate information in

   order for her to make an informed decision.

- Suggests various comfort measures and relaxation techniques.

- Provides physical and emotional support, along with positive encouragement.

- Remains with the mother after delivery until the baby has established a good latch.

- Offers postpartum support and breastfeeding assistance.

- Adheres to patient confidentiality in accordance to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations.

Benefits of having a doula...

Benefits for MOM


Greater satisfaction with birth experience


Higher self-esteem


Less anxiety


Less likely to experience postpartum depression


Greater maternal satisfaction and bonding with their babies

Benefits for BABY


Improved Apgar scores


Fewer admissions to NICU


More likely to be breastfed


Increased bond between mother and baby


Shorter hospital stays

When continuous labor support is provided by a doula,

a woman can experience:


31% decrease in the use of Pitocin

28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean delivery


12% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth


9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief

14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to NICU


Resource: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

Birth Support Services

Birth Planning


Birth Options

Preferences & Goals

Evidence-Based Information

Communicating with Care Providers

Development of Customized Birth Plan

Questions & Answers

1.5hrs - $100

Doula Basics



Complementary Consultation

2 Prenatal Visits

Birth Plan Development

Relaxation & Comfort Measures

Unlimited Labor Support

Breastfeeding Assistance

1 Postpartum Visit


Mind Body Baby


Comprehensive Movement Assessment

Personalized Exercise Program

2 Private Training Sessions (prenatal)

1 Private Training Session (postnatal)

Complementary Consultation

2 Prenatal Visits

Birth Plan Development

Relaxation & Comfort Measures

Unlimited Labor Support

Breastfeeding Assistance

1 Postpartum Visit


Doula packages include service at home, hospital and birthing centers in Melbourne Metro, Bayside and South Eastern suburbs.

Questions & Answers

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwives are medically trained birth professionals who assess and monitor both mom and baby throughout pregnancy, childbirth and after baby has arrived. 

A midwife's duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Prenatal medical care

- Medical care during labor & birth

  • Monitoring both mom and baby's vital signs (e.g. blood pressure, temperature, baby's heart tones, etc.)

  • Performing vaginal examinations to assess cervical progression and position of the baby

  • Delivery of the baby

- Postpartum medical care of both mother and baby

- Newborn exam

- Charting & record keeping

Doulas are non-medical birth professionals who help educate expecting mothers and families during pregnancy, and provide physical and emotional support during labor and childbirth.

During labor, while the midwife addresses the medical needs for both mom and baby, a doula can provide mom with comfort and support each step of the way. 

Can I have a doula if I am having a hospital birth?

Absolutely! A doula provides support to mothers in all types of birth settings - home, hospital, and birthing center.

Can I have a doula if I am planning on receiving an epidural?

Yes! If a mother wishes to receive an epidural during labor, it is best to wait as long as possible in order to prevent further medical procedures and interventions. Doulas can be especially helpful in providing physical and emotional support, along with controlled breathing techniques and recommendations for positioning to help moms reach their desired goal before receiving an epidural.

Can I have a doula if I am planning a scheduled Cesarean delivery?

Yes! Most hospital allow only one person to be in the delivery room with you, and this is will most likely be your birth partner. However, if your doula is your main support person, she can definitely be by your side during the delivery. Whether or not your doula will be present for the actual delivery, she can help educate you during pregnancy, be at the hospital during your delivery, and provide immediate postpartum support and breastfeeding assistance after baby has arrived.

How can a doula help if I already have an awesome birth partner?

A doula understands that childbirth is a special event for both parents, and encourages the partner to be involved in the birth as much as he or she feels comfortable. With that said, your partner will need support too!


Labor is unpredictable and there is a possibility that obstacles may arise. Therefore, having a trained birth professional such as a doula with you during your birth can help alleviate worry and concern by offering continuous emotional support and suggestions on how to  best navigate your way through various situations.

A doula can be especially helpful during really long labors as she and the birth partner can tag team when either person has to take a break to rehydrate, grab a bite to eat, use the restroom, and check in with family members in the waiting area. It is important for the birth partner to take care of him or herself as you do not want them passing out at the most crucial time - when you are giving birth!

Is it weird having a stranger in the room with us during our birth?

Prior to hiring a doula, you will have the opportunity to attend a complimentary consultation in which you may ask as many questions as you like in order to decide if she will be a good fit for you and you partner. Once you have selected the doula that you feel comfortable with, you will typically meet with her at least two more times before your birth to talk about your birth preferences, practice breathing and relaxation techniques, and discuss what her role as your doula may look like. Each visit will help you become better acquainted with your doula, and when it comes time to supporting you at your birth, she will be a familiar face. 

Sometimes you may not have the option of having your selected care provider at your birth depending on call schedules and other various circumstances, and you most likely will not have met any of the nursing staff either. It is possible that your doula may be the only person you are familiar with during your birth, especially in a hospital setting, therefore you may find comfort knowing that she will absolutely be there to help advocate for you and support you in your birth choices.

Will I be able to have intimate moments with my partner if I choose to have a  have a doula?

Of course! Your doula understands that having your partner close can produce all of those wonderful hormones that make you feel safe, secure, supported, and loved, which are all extremely important during the birthing process. Your doula will give you as much time as you desire for intimate moments with your partner and will happily leave the room if asked, or simply if not needed. When you are ready to have your doula return to your side, she will be right there for you.

Do I still need a doula if I attend Childbirth Classes?

Childbirth classes provide an abundance of information and tools to help you prepare for the labor and birth process. 

Doulas provide additional support during the actual event. They will advocate for you, help you find the best positions to labor in according to how you're feeling in the moment and based on baby's position, they will help ease your mind during times of uncertainty and provide the positive encouragement that you need. Your doula will provide as much physical and emotional support that you need each step of the way.


What if I can't afford to hire a doula?


Every woman deserves to have a doula regardless of her financial situation. Some options that you may wish to think about if you would like to hire a doula but are on a strict budget include:


- Organizing a payment plan with your doula ahead of time

- Setting up a baby shower/gift registry that includes the option to provide funds to go towards doula services

- Hiring a doula intern who may provide services at a lower fee

Giving birth is one of the biggest events that you will endure in your lifetime. Having a doula present can make all the difference in helping you achieve the type of birth experience that you desire - one that you will remember for a lifetime.

Contact Me

Stephanie A. Simmons



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