What is a Doula?

The word “Doula” is an ancient Greek word that translates to “mother the
mother, a woman’s servant.” In today’s terms, a doula is identified as a
trained non-medical professional who provides educational, physical, and
emotional support to pregnant women, their partner and/or family. San
Antonio Birth Doulas mission is to provide a doula to every woman that wants
one. We strive to empower families to feel confident in their parenting abilities
by offering over 100 prenatal and parenting education classes, birth and
postpartum doulas, counseling, and more.
Attending a birth and/or postpartum training workshop is the first step for
aspiring doulas, but the skills learned can also benefit anyone working with
pregnant women, including parenting educators, counselors, social workers
and nurses. SABD hosts bi-annual doula workshops and local attendees are
extended an invitation to participate in SABD’s Doula University internship
If you are interested in learning more about how to become a doula or would
like to know when the next doula training workshop is scheduled, contact our
office at (210) 222-0988 for more information.
Prior to becoming a contract employee of San Antonio Birth Doulas, every
doula must receive birth and/or postpartum doula training through DONA
International, or another nationally recognized doula organization, as well as
pass annual background checks.

The Doula’s Role

The Doula’s role is flexible and must mold to meet the unique needs of each
family. Doulas prepare women for what to expect during pregnancy, labor,
childbirth, and the postpartum period. This support and preparation will
increase their confidence and help them identify their birth and parenting
choices. Our goal is that our clients will have a safe and satisfying birth
experience. We draw on our training and experience to provide educational
resources, emotional support, physical comfort, and as needed,
communication with the hospital staff to make sure pregnant women have the
information they need to make informed decisions. Doulas can provide
reassurance and encouragement to pregnant women and their partners, make
suggestions for labor progress, and help with touch, relaxation, positioning,
and other techniques. Your doula works for you – not your caregiver or the

Doula Commitment

Doulas will schedule a minimum of two prenatal visits prior to delivery to
provide prenatal education and support. Starting two weeks prior to the due
date, your SABD doula will be on call 24/7. Once her presence is requested,
she will support you during your labor and delivery and into the postpartum
period. The doula will help you establish a first feed before leaving you to
enjoy your new baby. After the birth, the doula will schedule a minimum of two
postpartum visits to allow parents to debrief their experience and assist in the
families transition into parenthood.
All SABD doulas are required to have a back-up doula. In the event the
assigned doula is not available to attend a birth due to illness, death in the
family, or events beyond her control, the doula will arrange for a back-up
doula who will attend the labor and birth. Introductions to meet the back-up
doula during one of the prenatal visits will be arranged.

Important: What Doulas Do Not Do:

Perform clinical tasks. Doulas will not take blood pressure checks, fetal heart
checks, perform vaginal, or any other medical examination. The doula is
there to provide physical comfort, emotional support and be an advocate for
the client and her birth team.
Make decisions relating to medical care. The doula will provide unbiased
information so the client can make informed decisions regarding her and her
baby’s personal and medical care. Doulas can remind the client if there is a
departure from her original birth plan.
Provide information to your caregiver and/or hospital staff without your
consent. The doula will discuss options and concerns with the client and
partner. It is the responsibility of the partner and/or family to speak on the
laboring mother’s behalf to the caregiver or the hospital staff.
Take the place of anyone who is part of your birth team. The doula is an
additional member of your birth team and part of our responsibility is to help a
family become actively involved in the birth (to their level of comfort).
Provide childcare services. The client is obligated to arrange for the care of
any minor children and dependents in the household during the labor, birth
and hospital stay.
Provide Transportation. Clients are responsible for arranging for transportation
to the office of their health care provider and/or to the birth facility. Doulas will
provide transportation resources if applicable.