The word, "doula," comes from the ancient Greek, meaning servant.. Today the word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." A doula provides non-medical support and care to a woman and her loved ones during childbirth. Women's needs are complex during childbirth. In addition to obstetrical care, and the love and companionship provided by loved ones, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. To this end, a doula works with a woman and her family, physicians, midwives and nurses with an aim to enhance communication and understanding. When a Doula is present, the pressure on the partner is also decreased, allowing participation at the partner's comfort level and increasing the enjoyment of the birth experience. WHAT ELSE CAN A DOULA DO Not An Exhaustive List
WHAT A DOULA DOES NOT DO
Why hire a doula ? Research has found that women who have one-on-one professional labour support tend to have shorter labours, fewer complications, and healthier newborns. Doulas also help foster a more relaxed postpartum environment as well, and enhance early mother-infant relationships, breastfeeding and family adjustments.