Doula comes from the Latin word for the woman who serves. We now use the word to describe a trained and experienced labor companion who provides a woman and her husband/partner continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and after childbirth.
A doula recognizes birth as a key life experience that all in presence will remember for their lives. Understanding the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of the family as well as assisting in those needs in preparing for and carrying out their plans, facilitating communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers. Aside from providing
emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions, a doula perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience. The doula stays by her side throughout the entire labor and delivery process.