I should get good at answering this as I am sure I will need to answer it alot!
The word “doula” comes from a greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient greek household. This woman probably helped the lady of the house through childbearing. The word has come to mean now “a woman experienced in childbirth who provided continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth”
There have been many studies done on doulas and how they can help a laboring mother. Some that were very interesting to me were the ones where the mothers had hard labors and births, yet felt it was a positive experience because someone was there to encourage her through it all. One study said that they have found women will remember their childbirth experience the rest of their life, even when the other memories fade, except for women who were given drugs which altered their memory. Also, not only the laboring woman felt better, but their companion felt better and more sure of himself to support and care for her in labor. They did not feel like they were in competition, but like they were guided and felt appreciated when they felt helpless.
The rates of c-section, epidurals and other interventions go dramatically down with the use of doulas, although if these happen, they are there to help you through them also.
Anyhow, I hope that answers a few of your questions!
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That does answer my questions! It sounds as though the doula is a comforter and caretaker, and sort of a “sister” in labor to the woman in childbirth. What a beautiful thing you are doing!
I think you’re right, a lot of people are going to have this question! Maybe you’d better just make a “Doula” link on the side of your blog right now! 🙂 I really appreciate your description and post.
Thanks for your comment and compliament, Martha. I am glad it encouraged you. It has been good for me also to put it all down in words. I really want freedom in that area.
I think it is so great that you are going to be a doula. bparrish55 in my list of subscriptions is a midwife and her daughter is becoming a doula also. It would be nice to be able to work with your mom like that. ~Diana