For centuries, societies have nurtured people during pregnancy, birth, and the time after birth. Doulas have professionalized this time-honored practice, says Daniel Gallagher, also known as Danny the Doula.
Doulas are trained, non-medical birth companions who guide parents and families through the process. They provide resources, coaching, and other physical and emotional support to women and their partners. They can also provide information about caring for the baby and themselves after delivery.
Although only a small number of families currently use the services of doulas, the number is growing. In a recent survey in California, for example, almost twice as many women indicated they would definitely use a doula for a future pregnancy than those who have used a doula before.
Doulas provide many benefits, says Gallagher. Physical support helps the mother maintain a sense of control, while emotional support empowers them. Women who use doulas are less likely to need pain relief medication or Cesarean sections. Labor times also are 25 percent shorter, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The women who use doulas also report a less stressful birth experience.
“I’m passionate about serving mothers and families during the pregnancy and birth journey,” says Daniel Gallagher. Gallagher is based in Honolulu but works with families in all the Hawaiian Islands. “I tailor packages to the individual needs and budget of each family,” he says. Gallagher also offers maternity photography services to women who want it. He’s worked with dozens of families.
“I’m always available for my moms whenever they need support. I form a real connection with my clients, and genuinely care about their health, happiness, and well-being,” he says.
Gallagher is the son of a Japanese-American mother and an Irish-American father. He grew up in Oahu but remains connected to his Japanese heritage through travels to Japan. He speaks English fluently and is learning Japanese.