What is a Doula?

The doula is the professional who accompanies the pregnant woman during the period of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

It establishes a relationship of trust and complicity with clients, offering comfort and emotional support. She helps with breathing and relaxation exercises, positioning and massage techniques for pain relief during childbirth. She is also attentive to prevent hospital procedures that the mother does not want to be performed.

It is an increasingly expanding work.

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Prenatal exams in the Netherlands

Types of anesthesia in the Dutch obstetric system

Support during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and the puerperium

Hello, I’m Alyne Prado, Brazilian and I’ve been living in the Netherlands since 2007.

I am a speech therapist specializing in problems related to swallowing and sucking in newborns. I worked for a few years in the neonatal ICU at Hospital Dia e Maternidade Unimed-BH.

As a speech therapist, I have knowledge about the growth and development of oral functions, which, combined with my experience with newborns, gives me a different perspective on breastfeeding. During my breastfeeding consultation, I help the mother not only with positioning and latching the baby to the breast, but I also assess the phonoarticulatory organs (lips, tongue, cheeks, palate, teeth) that are important later for the development of speech.

As a doula, mother and woman, I defend the empowerment of pregnant women in their own childbirth, promoting information and knowledge about the entire process of pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium. I offer the necessary emotional support for the woman to become knowledgeable about her body, thus allowing her to be the protagonist during childbirth.

The humanization of childbirth is a process where empowerment and well-being go hand in hand. Therefore, it is essential to provide future fathers and mothers with relevant information, so that choices about that moment are made assertively and consciously.

Frequently Asked

Yes! It’s worth a lot. Sometimes we spend on superfluous things, expensive material goods that we later regret, a baby shower that looks like a wedding; and we forget ourselves. Hiring a doula is a gift you give yourself.

It is not an expense, but an investment in your well-being, in which the return is guaranteed.

Doula and partners play two different but interconnected roles. The partner has a love for mother and baby that no one can replace.

Doulas are trained in techniques and comfort measures. Partners have a deep connection with the mother and understand her needs, the Doula has experience with the birth process and supporting families.

Partners know how the mother deals with stress, while Doulas know the language of childbirth and can help families understand the choice made in labor and postpartum.

Lastly, the partner can take a break, eat or sleep, while the doula supports the mother. The doula can communicate with the family, or take pictures so that the partner is 100% present.

As a Doula, I am not here to replace your partner’s role, but to work together towards the same goal, which is to make the pregnant woman feel as comfortable, happy and confident as possible.

Scientific research carried out in various parts of the world shows that the role of the Doula in childbirth can:

Decrease cesarean rates by 50%;

Decrease the duration of labor by 20%;

Decrease requests for anesthesia by 60%;

Decrease by 40% the use of drugs to induce contractions;

Decrease the use of forceps by 40%;

In addition, the presence of the Doula also showed emotional and psychological benefits between mother and baby with positive results such as:

Satisfaction with the childbirth experience;

Interaction in the mother-baby relationship;

Greater success in breastfeeding;

Decreased incidence of postpartum depression.

Midwives and Doulas have an integral role during pregnancy and childbirth, but with very different roles, offering different types of services.

Midwives have medical training and during the birthing process they focus on the process of bringing the baby healthy while avoiding any risk to the life of mother and baby.

Doulas, on the other hand, focus on the mother’s needs, offering mental, physical and emotional support. While a Midwife is tending to her medical needs, taking blood pressure or monitoring the baby, I will be there to tend to her needs, whether it’s a foot massage, acupressure or even just making sure her wishes are respected.


Preparation for childbirth by providing detailed information about the entire process of pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium

Application of massages during pregnancy and teaching of massage techniques to the partner

Assistance with birth planning

Emotional support through continuous presence beside the pregnant woman, providing encouragement and tranquility, offering affection, words of reassurance and support. Favors the maintenance of a peaceful and welcoming environment, with silence and privacy

Breathing exercises and pain relief techniques between contractions, as well as measures to help progress in labor

Acts as a communication bridge between the woman, her family and the care team

The doula becomes important even in a cesarean delivery, where she continues to provide support, comfort and help the woman to relax and calm down during the surgery.

Present in the postpartum period, helping the mother with breastfeeding, the family’s interaction with the newborn and the dynamics of the new family structure.


Provides information on delivery procedures, drug anesthesiology method options, and the operation of each hospital.

Accompanies the pregnancy, controlling the health of the mother and the baby

Depending on the team, they work in shifts, often not accompanying labor from start to finish

If the pregnant woman opts for anesthesia, her delivery will be performed by the hospital’s midwife and not by the one who accompanied her throughout her pregnancy.

Performs clinical gynecological procedures such as measuring pressure, vaginal examinations, monitoring of fetal heartbeats during labor

It is able to detect any sign that could put the pregnant woman and/or the baby in danger, as well as perform necessary emergency procedures

The midwife does not accompany cesarean delivery. This is done by the gynecologist and staff on duty for the day.

Postpartum visit to monitor maternal recovery and mother/baby interaction.

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