What does the word DOULA mean?
The term “doula” originates from the ancient Greek “douleia,” which means “woman who serves.” In the context of childbirth, a doula is a non-medical professional. They are not nurses, doctors, or midwives, although those professions can become doulas. Doulas offer emotional, physical, and educational support to birthing people and their families. Doulas can be present during labor and delivery, as well as in the postpartum period.
Doulas do not provide medical care, but they can offer a variety of supportive services, such as:
- Helping the birthing person stay comfortable and hydrated
- Offering different labor positions and comfort measures
- Providing emotional support and encouragement
- Advocating for the birthing person’s wishes
- Helping the birthing partner to support the birthing person
- Providing postpartum support, such as help with breastfeeding, baby care, and light housework
Doulas can play an essential role in helping birthing people to have a positive and empowering birth experience. They can also provide valuable support to families in the postpartum period.
If you are considering hiring a doula, be sure to interview several doulas to find one who is a good fit for your family. You should also ask about the doula’s experience, training, and services offered.