Doulas help and encourage each woman to deal with labour the best she can.
The doula wants to help each woman call on her inner strength to cope with labour. She demonstrates her confidence, through her words, touch and expressions that the mother can deal with labour and birth.
Doulas encourage, praise and reassure the mothers. When labour is intense, the mother may need constant reminders that she is experiencing the normal sensations of labour, not something to fear.
If the laboring woman feels lost or overwhelmed during a difficult contraction, the doula can help her focus with eye contact, an anchoring touch, and reassurance. The doula may use massage and stroking to encourage the woman to release any tension between contractions.
The doula may create a visual image for the mother to focus on. She may describe briefly what is happening with each contraction as the baby is moving lower into the pelvis. She can minimize distractions and help her to focus on the process.
The doula also supports the partner in reassuring him that everything is in control. She will involve the father as much as he is able or willing to be involved. The doula gives the couple her undivided attention.