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Shannon Murnaghan
Certified Labour Doula
(CAPPA Certified) 
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WHAT IS A DOULA?

“MOTHERING THE MOTHER”

Doula is a Greek work that means ‘slave’.

For those women who are feeling modest and uncomfortable with the idea of exposing themselves to a number of health care professionals during labour and birth, well I have good news for you – A Doula works from the waist up!

Whether your own mother is there or not, the doula will not leave you until after the birth of your baby. A doula will help you through the emotions of labour and birth, encouraging you every step of the way.

A Doula’s primary goal is to help the mother achieve the birth she is hoping for and to support her in the decisions she makes along the way

Doulas and Partners...

Doulas will also support the father/partner during the birth with emotional support. It can be very trying to see your loved one distressed and in pain. A Doula will help the partner to ‘read’ the mother’s reactions to their pain and determine how to touch them (or not!). An experienced Doula can give reassurance that all is well with each progressive step.

A Doula will...

  • meet with you during pregnancy at least 3 times to get to know you and to assist you in developing a Birth Plan
  • be available to answer questions by phone or email during the course of your pregnancy
  • Suggest exercise, positioning, massage, breathing techniques and other comfort measures to ease pain in pregnancy, labour and birth
  • provide resources to further educate you and/or direct you to community resources
  • be present when requested during labour and birth to provide emotional and physical support and reassurance. Remain with you up to 2 hours post partum to aid with breastfeeding and first latch
  • provide continuous support to you through staff changes in the hospital
  • support hospital and home births

A Doula will NOT...


  • perform internal exams or any other medical procedures ie. check bloodpressure
  • provide medical advice
  • make decisions for you/speak on your behalf
  • usurp the role of the father/partner
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