The Maimonides Doula Program
What is a Doula?
The word "doula" is the ancient Greek word for female helper and caregiver. Today, a doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides expectant mothers with non-medical services such as advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before during, and just after childbirth.
Trained & Caring Volunteer Doulas at Maimonides
Maimonides is known throughout Brooklyn for our expansive Doula Volunteer Program. The Doula Program began more than 17 years ago, founded to provide extra support and encouragement during the birthing processes. Maimonides Doulas are considered to be a part of the birthing team, working alongside our doctors, nurses and staff, together offering you the most comprehensive care. Although doulas offer support rather than medical services, using a doula can have medical benefits. Studies have shown that using the doula's services results in shorter labor, fewer Cesarean and forceps deliveries, and a decrease in the requests for epidurals. Mothers supported by doulas also rate childbirth as less difficult and painful.
Our compassionate team consists of both Labor Room Doulas and Postpartum Doulas. The Labor Room Doulas are trained by Maimonides and receive rigorous instruction by Doulas of North America, which is approved by Lamaze International. They are educated in every aspect of labor support to ensure they offer the highest standards of care available. The Postpartum Doulas are experts in supporting new mothers once they are transferred to the postpartum floor. All Maimonides Doulas are experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated to every expectant and new mother.
What Pregnant Mothers (and Fathers) Should Expect
At Maimonides, we believe that every woman who wants a doula should have one. So, our doula policy is simple: once you arrive at Maimonides, you can request a doula and one will be provided.
Maimonides is the only hospital in Brooklyn providing doulas 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have more than 130 doulas, ready to support you during labor and delivery and in post-partum. As part of the diverse community of Brooklyn, our Doula Program offers care that is culturally sensitive to your needs.
Doulas provide support in many ways, including being your:
- Advocate: Listening and responding to your requests, helping you communicate with your healthcare providers.
- Instructor: Offering advice during labor on breathing, positioning, relaxation techniques, as well as massage and other natural pain management.
- Partner: During delivery and if needed, during a caesarian section.
- Support: Your doula will be by your side, helping you reduce any fear and anxiety you may have, and will be there as your baby is born to welcome the newest member of your new family.
Expectant fathers can benefit from Maimonides Doulas as well. Doulas can help expectant dads understand their role in the birthing process, relive some of the emotional pressure, and offer instruction on how fathers can help during labor.
After your baby is born, doulas are available on the postpartum floor, and can offer encouragement and guidance with placing baby skin-to-skin with the mother, assist with positioning for breastfeeding, and offer new mothers emotional support.
Maimonides Doulas volunteer their time, so there is no cost to the patient. The Doula Volunteer program is run by C.A.R.E.S, a division of Agudah Women of America, in cooperation with Maimonides Volunteers.