1. Myth : A doula
won't let a labouring woman take any pain relief drugs.
Truth: A doula is there to help support a labouring woman to
help ensure a safe and satisfying childbirth as the woman defines it.
2. Myth: A doula will
interfere with medical advice.
Truth: A doula will not interfere with medical advice. She
facilitates communication between all involved and encourages her client to ask
relevant questions so she can make informed choices. Doulas do not make
decisions for their clients.
3. Myth: A doula will
Truth: A doula is there to enhance the relationships between
the hospital staff, the labouring woman's partner and others present. Often
times the partner will become more involved with a doula present.
4. Myth: A doula will
take away "the best part of a nurse's job."
Truth: A labouring woman can never have too much support. A
doula strives to work as a team with the nursing staff and welcomes any
suggestions and physical support that the nurse may provide.
5. Myth: A doula has
a negative opinion about a hospital setting.
Truth: A doula has the utmost respect for the lifesaving
technology available for unexpected circumstances in a hospital.
6. Myth: Doulas are
not necessary because the nurse (partner, family member, friend, fill in the
blank) is there.
Truth: A doula does not perform clinical skills. She is the
only member of the maternity care team who is focused completely on the mother's
well being. A doula is not emotionally involved with the labouring woman, as are
other family members and close friends. The doula knows what to expect and
remains calm and objective when she sees the labouring woman in pain.
7. Myth: A doula will
leave if the mother gets an epidural.
Truth: There seems to be an urban legend of sorts about the
doula who left as soon as the mom got an epidural. This is not usual. A doula is
there to support the labouring woman with any decisions she makes. She still
needs continuous support even with an epidural. The doula can give dad/partner a
break to go get something to eat or to take a nap if it's been a particularly
long labor. She can take pictures, get ice-chips, do hand massage or just sit
quietly while the woman rests.
8. Myth: Doulas
secretly want to catch the baby.
Truth: A doula does not have the clinical skills or the
knowledge to want to receive the baby on her own. Trying to deliver the baby on
her own is a foolish notion.
9. Myth: Doulas only
attend home births.
Truth: Doulas attend births at home, at the
hospital and at birth centers. She will remain at home with the labouring woman
until it is time to go to the hospital/birth center (where applicable).
10. Myth: All doulas
are "patchouli-wearing, tree-hugging, earthy birthy mamas!"
Truth: The majority of doulas are professional, well-educated
women. The key is to find a doula who suits your individual needs and
© Tracey L. Stein, CD - Calgary,
Alberta; Photo & Layout - Connie Banack, CLD CPD - Lloydminster, Alberta