San Francisco Doula Services

Doula Services

A doula is a non-medical assistant, trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and her partner before, during and just after childbirth. 

Throughout history, women all over the world have been supported during childbirth by other women.  A woman going through labor and birth could depend on these other wise women for encouragement, back rubs, advice, and emotional support. The role of doulas now is based on this ancient tradition of support and care.

Doulas are experienced in providing tried and true comfort measures specific to labor. These can include suggestions for changing positions, vocalization, rhythmic movement, guided relaxation with breathing and/or visualization, and specialized massage for labor. A doula also helps families gather important information before and during labor so they are completely informed about all their options and can feel confident about their decisions.

The most valuable offering a doula gives is continuous emotional support. This comes in the form of verbal encouragement and reassurance, a constant physical presence, and full trust in your power and ability to birth.

Women supported by doulas tend to have less interventions and shorter labors including:

  • 28% reduction in Cesarean rate

  • 40% decrease in Pitocin use (labor induction)

  • 28% less likely to use epidural or narcotic medication

  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal delivery

  • 41% less likely to have vacuum or forceps delivery

Six weeks after birth, mothers who had doulas were:

  • 33% less likely to be dissatisfied with their births

  • Consistently more satisfied with their birth experiences

  • More confident with their babies

  • More satisfied with their partners

Long-term physiological benefits for mom and baby:

  • Improved breastfeeding

  • Stronger maternal-infant interaction and bonding

  • Increased time spent with baby

  • More positive maternal assessments of baby's personality and health, and maternal competence

  • Decrease in postpartum depression and anxiety

 Contact us directly to discuss further or setup an appoitment. 


Find out more about Shannon Padlog, Blue Ova's resident doula. Shannon has been attending births since 2009 and has supported over 180 families. By nature, birth is a unique and deeply personal experience and each Mom-to be has her own set of hopes and expectations.  Shannon strive to offer non-judgmental care and mentoring in preparation for this journey, so couples greet labor with knowledge, connection, confidence, and trust.