What is a doula?
A doula is a professional birthing assistant - someone who has already given birth herself. The word ‘Doula’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘a woman who gives another woman help and assistance’ and was used for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household; she was likely to have helped the lady of the house during childbirth. The word signifies the tradition of women helping women during childbirth.
How would a doula help me?
Doulas realise how important it is that the mother feels safe and secure during birth and they work towards providing that environment. Many women feel unable to voice what they want during labour, and the doula aims to act as a communicator between the mother, her partner and the midwife/hospital staff.
Birth Support can shorten labour
"...Studies show that when a doula or other birth partner is present, women have less painful labours, fewer medical interventions, fewer Caesareans, and healthier babies. Recent evidence suggests that when a doula provides support, women are more satisfied with their experiences, and the mother-infant interaction, is enhanced for as long as two months after the birth. Doula support has been found to have a positive effect on a couple’s relationship as well..."
Your Pregnancy Bible. Ed: Dr Anne Deans
More information about doulas
More information about doulas can be found at wikipedia.