“Doula” comes from the ancient Greek word for “a woman who serves.” A birth doula is a woman who provides non medical care and support to a woman and her partner throughout the birth process. A doula will help a woman/couple prepare for birth, support her through labor, delivery and the first couple of hours post partum, and will usually help her process her birth experience.
Doulas work in and out hospitals, and in conjunction with a variety of care providers. Services provided by doulas vary, but commonly include
- Working through expectations for birth
- Comfort measures and support during labor
- Assistance in understanding medical language and procedures
- Support of parents in being well-informed responsible decision makers on behalf of mom and baby