Portsmouth Regional Hospital is proud to be the first hospital in New Hampshire to offer a hospital based doula program. PRH’s design allows the benefit of having a doula attend the birth, providing holistic and integrative modalities while still being a member of the highly trained team. The doula program will be ready to support interested families beginning in March.

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves”. Now “doula” is used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. The doula can also provide emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

As a vital member of the team, the birth doula from Portsmouth Regional Hospital can help the mother with the following:
• Prepare mother and partner for the birth experience, carrying out the birth plan
• Recognizing that birth is a key experience that a mother will remember all her life
• Providing emotional support and physical comfort measures during labor and birth
• Providing non-medical pain and stress management tools including massage, mindful breathing and visualization
• Attending to the mother with the sole purpose of caring for her emotional well-being helping her through the transition to motherhood

Portsmouth Regional Hospital’s doula program offers several packages such as labor and delivery support, scheduled cesarean support and a family care package that includes a prenatal and postnatal visit as well as labor and birth. Families will have an opportunity to meet the doula team during monthly “doula teas”.

For more information, please contact Nora at 603-559-4172.