What is a doula?

midwife, doula, mom and baby!

The word “doula” is an ancient Greek word meaning “servant.” And that’s what the doula does for you. She’s your servant when you’re going through the most challenging time in your life—the birth of your child.
No matter how many children you’ve had, it’s a new adventure every time. Here are some of the things a doula does for you while you’re in labor:

  • She gives you emotional support throughout the entire labor. She doesn’t leave when the shift changes.
  • She explains the medical procedures, so you know what the doctors are trying to do to you.
  • She gives you massages and other kinds of drug-free pain relief.
  • She helps you have the kind of birth you want. Since she’s the servant, her job is to put you in control.
  • She gives you suggestions for positions that will make the labor easier and quicker.
  • If you have a partner, she helps support the partner, too. Her job is to make the labor easier for both of you—to help the partner help you.
  • She can keep a written record of the birth.
  • She can take pictures of the birth.
  • After the birth, she can help you get a good start with breastfeeding.

By Teresa Bailey

Teresa Bailey is a master doula in Pittsburgh

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