Category Archives: Doula Tools

Effective Doula Phrases – Birth Ways International Doula Training

September 24, 2020

Doula phrases are helpful for when we find ourselves in situations where we know that our clients need more information (and possibly a little space) before consenting to something and we might feel at a loss for words.

In my 30 years as a doula there some phrases I have found useful many of which can be used together with the BRAINS technique of working towards full information before consenting to a procedure:

B - What are the benefits of this procedure you are suggesting?

R - Can you tell me the risks of doing this?

A - What are some alternatives to taking this action?

I -  What is my intuition telling me?

N - What if we do nothing?   Can we take a break, have a bath, go for a walk and check in on this in ½ hr?

S - Sign a waiver.

effective doula phrases

I found some other phrases in a resource listing responses to racist comments and I found many of them also applied to birth settings.  While we do not speak for our clients, we can suggest these phrases to them or use them where appropriate: 

Could you please repeat that?

Did you just say that ________?

So, what do you mean when you said _______?

I am not sure I understood you correctly, did you mean that____?

Excuse me but did you mean to say something that might be interpreted as offensive?

When I hear you say ________, it makes me feel anxious/worried/afraid.

What evidence do you have to support this suggestion?

It sounds like we are assuming _____, what if we assumed _____instead?

effective doula phrases

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Birth Ways International offers a variety of workshops and educational opportunities to Birth Professionals online, so you can take them from wherever you are located! Please contact us for more information on our upcoming classes! Thank you.

Nature’s Epidural – Water for Comfort in Birth

January 18, 2020

Did you know using the bath, shower or pool is like a natural pain-killer? Many birth-workers call it “nature’s epidural”. Being in water can help your labouring client feel a sense of privacy and bring great comfort for many, decreasing the sensation of pain. Even for clients who plan to use pain meds, spending time in the water can allow them to cope better if:

  1. They’re waiting for meds;
  2. It’s too soon to go to the hospital;
  3. They wish to put off using medications until later in their birth.  (Remember, it’s never too late to get an epidural.)


  1. If your client enjoys the shower, have them pack a shower curtain and a few rings in their birth-bag. (I carry these in my doula-bag in case they forget.)
  2. If they enjoy the bath, have them pack a “drain overflow cover” so they can get a few more inches of water in those short baths that are in many hospitals.
  3. In many areas, clients with a midwife can likely have a water birth (or at least a water-labour) at home or hospital. The birth-pool can be used at home for labour, even if your client is not going to have a waterbirth.
  4. Smart doulas bring shoes that can get wet and extra clothes in case their client loves the pool.
  5. Those same smart doulas advise birth companions to bring a swim-suit and extra clothes, shoes that can get wet.

Of course, a nice deep birth-pool is the very best way to use the benefits of water in labour. We teach doulas how to set-up, maintain, put away the pool and care for their floating clients in our Birth Pool Class.

Props can be used wisely with water during labour too.

  • If the shower is big enough for a birth-ball, then go ahead and put one in there so your client can sit on it or lean on it.
  • It’s OK to put towels or padding down to keeps knees or feet happier.
  • Wireless monitors can be used in the shower or bath in case continuous monitoring is needed.
  • Any massage tools used by doulas can get wet.