The word doula, derived from Greek, means “women’s attendant.” Now it refers to the professionally trained women who accompany a pregnant woman and her partner through labor to birth.
• As a doula, I understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor and I recognize birth as a key life experience that the couple will remember all their lives.
• I assist the couple in preparing and carrying out their plans for birth and once labor begins I stay by the woman’s side throughout – providing emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint.
• I help the woman and her partner get the information they need to make good decisions and I facilitate communication with care providers.
• At all times, I perceive my role as the one who nurtures and protects the couple’s memory of the birth experience.