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Parents

58 Stunning Photos That Show The Bond Between Moms And Doulas

These images capture the amazing bond between moms and doulas.

For many parents, birth doulas are beacons of calming encouragement who enhance the labor, delivery and postpartum experience in incomparable ways.

An ancient Greek word for female servant, "doula" today refers to a trained helper who aids laboring mothers by providing expertise and emotional support and advocating for their birth needs and desires.

In honor of World Doula Week, here are 58 incredible photos of doulas in action in the U.S. and beyond, along with captions from the photographers who witnessed the magic.

1
"One of the most wonderful doulas there is!"
2
"Her voice grounds you to the present, centers you, supports you and encourages you to surrender."
3
"The doula in the photo also serves in the National Guard. When she got the call that the mother was in labor, she left drill to be at her side, and didn't have time to change out of her uniform."
4
"A doula in training witnessing the power of this mother in labor."
5
"In the Philippines, community is a big cultural value, and I love witnessing how a team of midwives, doula and family members come together to support the woman in labor."
6
"A gentle Cesarean. The doula is using essential oils to help mom relax and better cope with nausea. Doulas are a great support for families needing C-sections, before, during and after the cesarean."
7
"This mama had the support of her husband and doula as she welcomed her third daughter."
8
"This doula, Djifa Jones, has just arrived at her client's home on the day of her baby's birth. She would support her client for another 12 hours before her baby girl was born."
9
"This stunning mama braces herself through transition contractions, almost ready to meet her sweet baby. Her doula, not leaving her side, calms and steadies her all the while knowing she will be holding her baby in her arms soon."
10
"Sometimes just being quietly present is more than enough support."
11
"In Venezuela most of the births occur in the OR -- that's why the doulas are wearing scrubs."
12
"Let the tears flow."
13
This photo was taken at a birth in Brazil.
14
"While this mother unleashes her power in the final moments before baby comes, her doula tenderly holds her hand."
15
"This was an HBAC, home birth after cesarean. Her first birth did not go as planned and for her second birth she was determined to do everything possible to have a better experience. During the pushing phase, she received amazing encouragement, telling her she is strong and capable."
16
"While doulas are providing physical support and comfort measures to the laboring mother they also can be a calming presence and provide emotional support to the entire family."
17
"I love the way the doula is mirroring Mama in this image, just being in the moment with her."
18
"The attentive doula assists mother and baby in nursing."
19
"This was the third time the mom, doula, and myself walked around the neighborhood. Mom’s contractions were getting stronger and much closer together and she was getting closer to transition."
20
"Mom was close to birthing her baby. The warm water on her back, and her husband applying counter pressure helped make mom more comfortable during contractions."
21
"As a doula, one of the sweetest moments of birth is when you gaze upon that fresh baby for the first time. You have imagined what that little babe was going to look like for so long."
23
"This mother submitted to the birth process so beautifully, with her wonderful doula by her side."
24
"Mom's labor was very quick and intense. We arrived at the birth center and her beautiful babe was born less than 30 minutes later. She relied heavily on the strength of her doula to help her through her intense contractions."
25
"You are not alone."
26
"Mom's doula was helping her through a series of contractions that were coming right on top of each other, explaining that squatting down into the contraction might help ease it up a bit and allow her body to work with it. Through the toughest part of her labor she had continual support of her birth team, relying heavily on her doula."
27
"Attending a birth where doula support is involved never ceases to amaze me. The skilled way in which a doula is able to remind a woman of her own power with just a touch, a word, or a look is an incredible thing to witness."
28
"An amazing doula lovingly looks at this sweet girl for the first time in her daddy's arms and so many emotions are running through her, not only are these her clients, but also her close friends. The feeling is so overwhelming."
29
"As labour intensifies this mama holds on tightly to her doula and they slow dance in the hall, breathing together in perfect unison. She is her safe space."
30
"This mama had such a powerful birth team that consisted of her husband, sister, midwives and doula. The support was astounding; it truly does take a village."
31
"Extra comfort and reassurance that your body can handle birth."
32
"Helping mom and baby find a comfortable position and latch shortly after birth to begin their breastfeeding journey."
33
"Moments before her baby is born, mom takes a moment to focus during an intense contraction assisted by her doula and husband. "
34
"A doula helps siblings understand what's happening and how they can support their mama in the birth tub."
35
Doula-assisted birth in Venezuela.
36
A baby-wearing doula assists a mother.
37
"Surrounded by love and the support of her doula (who happens to be her best friend), husband and midwife, she finds her inner strength and brings her daughter into the world peacefully."
38
"The calm before the most intense, beautiful, emotional moment in your life. When you don't think you can do it anymore but your doula is there to say that you can and you are."
39
"A doula supports mom in the kitchen as labor picks up."
40
Doula at a C-section birth in Brazil.
41
"Mama had just given birth moments prior, and mum dad and doula sat down to soak in baby. It was a glorious moment of all that hard work. It was a reflective and celebratory moment."
42
"One of the greatest things a laboring women can feel during labor is love and support."
43
"Time to let mom get out of the pool so we can try nursing!"
44
"The birth of her first child left this mom feeling defeated and without choices. She decided to hire a doula for her second birth."
45
"Centering might just be the only thing that a doula can do to help a mother. As this doula places one finger on the mom's third eye chakra she centers her into her focus."
46
"C-section rates in Venezuela are super high (70 to 90 percent) -- that's why their work as doulas supporting mammas to have vaginal births are very important."
47
"In the final hours of a long and intense HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean) journey that ultimately inspired both women to become professional doulas themselves."
48
"A busy delivery room: keep me focused."
49
"Laboring mother surrounded by her doulas: electrifying joy."
50
"A mother's hands holding onto the support of a doula: I trust you, hold me through this wave."
51
"Doula Sarah Mills helping her client relax prior to her Caesarean birth."
52
Hands clutched during a water birth in Brazil.
53
"A doula is like a trail guide. Familiar with the path, she keeps you hiking through the hard parts, knowing the view at the end is incredible." -- Mother Strong Doula
54
"Just moments after being placed on her mother's chest, the excitement is felt by all. After over 12 hours side by side, this connection between mother and doula is absolutely heartwarming."
55
Doula assists mom during a birth in Brazil.
56
"Doula Kimberly Davis applies counter pressure during the mother's contraction while a nurse checks the baby's heart rate."
57
"The laboring mother was nearing transition, her body took over, they turned off her Pitocin and she labored naturally with the help of her awesome doula and husband."
58
"This photograph shows the doula continuing support after baby is born. Postpartum support from doulas is very common, and moms appreciate it greatly."
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