The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA). DONA International has the highest certification standards for doulas worldwide. When a doula has earned the credential of CD(DONA), it shows that the doula has met all the requirements of our rigorous certification program.
A doula designated as an AdvCD(DONA) has applied for and been selected through a rigorous review process, including but not limited to, being certified for a minimum number of years and having made major contributions to the promotion and advancement of the mission and purpose of DONA International, the doula profession and in the maternal-child field.