"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 husband or partner continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.
A postpartum doula provides care to a family with a newborn baby.
A birth doula:
The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of mothers and infants."
- Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.
- Understands the phusiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woan and her partner in preparing for and carrying out the 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 good 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.