Doulas offer a wide range of support in hospitals & homes all around the country & indeed the world, helping families with different needs & backgrounds with planning their births & parenting choices.
Doula is a Greek word meaning “Female Servant” but has come to be defined as a person, usually a woman who offers emotional, practical & informative support to women & couples, before, during & after childbirth.
Dana Raphael first coined the term in her book The Tender Gift, which underscores the fact that women need women to assist in childbirth & to provide continuous emotional support & guidance throughout the joyous & turbulent postpartum time.
A doula, by definition, is present to serve. She helps a woman integrate the day she will never forget.
Doula care can vary from mother to mother. Every birth is unique & therefore every woman’s experience is also unique.
The most important thing is for the mother to make her own informed decisions by understanding all the choices available at any given time in both childbirth & postnatal.
A Doula’s role is to support you in the decisions you make, not to persuade or judge. Whilst it is not a doulas job to change an outcome or to intervene in any medical way there is growing evidence that having a doula brings many benefits.
See link for short video from Doula UK explaining a little more what doulas do. https://vimeo.com/58769487
noun: doula; plural noun: doulas
1 A woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth. “From admission through delivery, a doula stayed at her assigned patient’s side”
1960s: Modern Greek, from Greek doulē ‘female slave’.
A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or postnatal supporter (A mothers help), is a non-medical person who stays with & assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional support & physical help if needed. “ Wikipedia “
‘It is becoming increasingly common for women to use a doula in addition to receiving pregnancy care from a midwife. Birth doulas provide flexible & continuous support before, during & often after the child is born. They may help with other children, encourage a partner with support while the child is being born, nurture & support the mother, & give support to help establish breastfeeding’. – NCT
Doula stats – Why Hire A Doula?