What is a doula?

What is a Doula?

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A doula's presence during labor and birth*:

* Reduces the need for a cesarean by 45%

* Reduces the length of labor by 25%

* Reduces the use of oxytocin (pitocin) by 50%

* Reduces the use of pain medications by 31%

* Reduces the need for forceps by 34%

* Reduces the use of epidurals by up to 60%

* Increases breastfeeding success

* Decreases postpartum depression

* The Doula Book, M. Klaus, J. Kennell, P. Klaus. 2002