The duty of a Doula is to provide a continuous source of comfort, encouragement, and support (both emotional and physical) during labor. Unlike an OB/GYN or midwife, a doula does not have medical training — your Doula is there to serve as a soothing voice of experience, help with relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, offer advice on labor positions, and more. Before your due date, your doula will educate you about the process of labor and delivery and comfort techniques so you’re empowered to take an active role in your birth. A doula can offer a multitude of non-medical pain-management techniques including massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, music, and mantras; your Doula will try different combinations to find the right solution for you. Studies have shown that doulas can reduce discomfort in labor, reduce anxiety, lower the rate of medical interventions (including C-sections) and improve mother-baby bonding post-birth. Their assistance has been shown to improve breastfeeding initiation rates since many doulas are also lactation consultants.