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; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.
(Taken from DONA Int'l.)
The presence of a birth doula has been proven to:
After the birth of the newborn, the doula stays with the mother and baby for an hour or two to help the mother with the basics of breastfeeding and to make sure the new family is as comfortable as possible. She answers any questions the mother and father may have about how the birth went, about the recovery period, and first few days or weeks of their new baby’s life.