Southeast WI Archive
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • November 2014
Written by  Kamala McCormick

Birth with a doula is positively different

The word “doula” has been applied to childbirth to refer to “a woman professionally trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth,” according to the book “Mothering the Mother.” Certified doulas must adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics established by a professional certifying organization.

A doula understands that childbirth is a uniquely transformative event.

A doula will prepare you for this wild ride.

Doulas understand that knowledge is power and power is peace. That peace is what’s most needed during childbirth. Many doulas instruct childbirth classes that not only teach about labor and birth, but encourage you to open your mind to the importance of the mind, body and spirit connection at birth.

Throughout several meetings during your pregnancy, a doula will help you explore your vision for your birth. She will provide evidence-based information and research. You will then have knowledge of many options available so you are able to make choices best for you as you plan to turn your birth vision into reality.

A doula will remind you that your body knows how to give birth.

“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets. Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” —Ina May Gaskin

Doulas are labor experts.

During your pregnancy, your doula will teach you relaxation and pain management methods that will be specific to your individual needs. These techniques will be valuable throughout labor and you will rely on them as labor progresses and becomes more intense. When the moment of self-doubt arrives and you say, “I’ve changed my mind, I can’t do this!”, a doula will take your hands, look into your eyes and simply remind you, “Yes, you can; you’re doing it now!” Doulas understand how to unleash the power of positive thinking and affirmation for birthing mothers. They believe in your perfectly designed body and will empower you to believe in yourself.

A doula is familiar with the physiology of labor...

...sometimes in ways that many birth professionals are not. She understands that freedom of movement and frequent changes in position are essential to effective birthing and helping labor progress. She helps you work with gravity.

Have you ever thought of vertical birthing? Your doula will have you up and moving: walking, squatting, lunging, sitting like a frog, and on your hands and knees. You’ll be rocking your birth! She’ll help you move and shimmy your baby down and out. Dancing your baby into the world —a shorter labor — yes! Birth massage, acupressure, dim lights and music: What a birth day celebration!

A doula teaches autonomy and confidence.

Your body, your baby and your birth — we all want to feel ownership of our birth experiences. Regardless of how you choose to have your baby enter the world, a doula will make your birth better! Water birth, vertical birth, birthing stool, cesarean section, vaginal birth after cesarean, homebirth or hospital birth: A doula is the knowledgeable and constant presence that will calm you and keep you mindful of important decisions in the moment. If your plan must change, she’ll keep you focused on what you know to be good, right and true. She’ll remind you that a change of plan doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Doulas are evidence-based practice.

Research shows that women giving birth with the presence of a doula receive many benefits and positive outcomes, such as shorter labors, fewer induced labors, fewer epidurals, fewer cesarean deliveries, greater breastfeeding success and greater overall satisfaction, according to “The Doula Book.”

Many elderly women who can barely remember the names of their children will still be able to recall their birth experiences. The influence of a certified doula is paramount in the process.

The day your baby is born is one day in your life as a woman, but the experience of giving birth will strengthen and empower you for the rest of your life. Women in labor need to feel cared for, supported, listened to and honored. Birth with a doula is positively different!

Kamala McCormick is a birth doula. She is a certified pregnancy and postpartum fitness educator and Dancing For Birth instructor. Kamala holds certified credentials through DONA International, International Childbirth Education Association and Dancing for Birth.

She is the owner of Blossoms Pregnancy Boutique and Wellness Center in Fond du Lac. She instructs, empowers and assists women during their pregnancy and motherhood journeys. Kamala serves clients throughout the metro-Milwaukee and Fox Valley regions.

To learn more about Kamala’s practice, visit, or contact her at 920-979-8336 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

References: Mothering the Mother. Marshall H. Klaus et al. Da Capo Press. 1993.

The Doula Book. Marshall H. Klaus et al. Da Capo Press. 2012.

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