WHAT IS A DOULA?
The Greek word doula means woman caregiver. We now use the word to describe a trained and experienced labor companion who provides the woman and her partner continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.
A BIRTH DOULA…
…Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
…understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
…assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
…stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
…provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make informed and educated decisions
…facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers
…perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience.