A CAPPA Certified Labor Doula is there to support a woman during pregnancy and labor. The paper goes on to say, "women in labor... also require emotional support, information, reassurance, encouragement, respect, and love" in addition to the proper medical care they receive from their healthcare providers. Most hospital deliveries will have many different nurses and possibly different doctors involved in the process of a labor and birth. A benefit of a doula being part of the birth team is the ability to provide continuous support. CAPPA's position also states, "The labor doula does not leave the laboring woman, maintaining continuity of care throughout the labor and birth."
A CAPPA Certified Labor Doula "will not perform any medical tasks, such as fetal or maternal monitoring, vaginal exams, blood pressure, or other vital signs." The role of the doctor, midwife, and nurses is to monitor the medical well being of the mother and baby while the doula is available to ensure the comfort and emotional well being of the mother and her partner. Doulas also do not make medical decisions for the mother, rather they provide information so she can make informed decisions.
Doulas are not just for moms wanting to "go natural". When a woman decides to labor with medication, a doula can help with position changes, comfort measures, and providing information. CAPPA believes that "A labor doula is also very beneficial to a woman who has chosen pain medication as she continues to labor." The training that CAPPA provides "focuses on teaching non-medical comfort measures such as massage, positioning, breathing, relaxation, how to assist the laboring mother and her partner emotionally, how to provide unbiased and evidence-based information."
The skills that I have learned through my training give me the tools to support all choices a mother makes regarding her birth. I am proud to call myself a CAPPA Certified Labor Doula and to live up to the CAPPA standards of providing excellent, evidence based service to my clients. It is my goal to support all choices of the women and families I support in Mena, Hot Springs, and Fort Smith.