What is a Doula?


Pregnancy is a period of big changes in a new mother’s life, a time filled with beautiful moments and serious challenges. As your baby grows, it’s normal to want comfort, reassurance and support from the people around you – both loved ones and medical professionals.

A birth doula can provide you with all of these things and more during your pregnancy and labour.

What does a doula’s work involve?

A doula is a close caregiver who gets to know the expectant family, especially mom, and who helps with every step along the way as you design and carry out your birth plan. If you choose to consult a Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (TCNM) doula, you’ll receive:

  • Assistance in choosing the birth plan that is the best fit for you
  • Naturopathic care during your pregnancy and labour
  • Calm support in arranging the type of birth you want and need
  • A caring friend on call to ease your fears and help you during labour
  • A professional birthing expert with years of training and experience

How is a TCNM doula different from other doulas or midwifes?

Fifty years ago, the care options available to expectant mothers in Canada were slim pickings. Today, doulas and midwives are everywhere in Toronto, each offering their own unique brand of pregnancy and labour care.

At TCNM, all of our birth doulas have completed four years of training in naturopathic medicine as well as the schooling to become a doula, making them a breed apart. We provide not only the educational and support services of a doula, but the knowledge and skill set of a naturopathic doctor. What that means is that in addition to education about your options and support in creating your birth experience, we also offer acupuncture, homeopathy and herbal medicines that can make your pregnancy more enjoyable and ease your labour.

If you’re worried about birth or you’re experiencing any kind of discomfort, herbs and homeopathic remedies can help you to prepare. Acupuncture is often useful during the birth process to help babies get into the right position and to relieve mom’s labour pain.

Your doula is on call and will be at your side to assist you throughout your baby’s birth.

Why use a doula?

There are many good reasons to choose a doula. Research has proven that doula-assisted labours are shorter, with less need for epidurals, c-section deliveries or other medical intervention. Mothers who rely on a doula’s support are happier with their birthing experience. Last, but certainly not least, many women say that working with a doula leads to a more relaxed labour and better early bonding with their newborn.

A doula offers the warmth, caring, and support of a loving friend, along with the training and experience of a seasoned labour professional. For families seeking a little bit of extra care and assistance in making the right decisions for them, a doula offers reassurance, guidance and support. A doula who is also a naturopathic doctor provides a wealth of knowledge and practical medical care before and during your baby’s birth.

Interested in learning more about a doula’s work, visit our Naturopathic Birth Doula page? Looking for a naturopathic doctor to help with your pregnancy and birth? Get in touch!



Posted: 2013 January 28