The word 'Doula' comes from the ancient Greek word, meaning 'woman servant' or 'caregiver', it now refers to a trained professional who provides continuous emotional, practical and physical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth.
The support offered by a doula does not replace or duplicate the role of a Midwife. It used to be the case that women within the immediate family (Mothers, Sisters, Grandmothers etc) would be on hand to provide a nurturing role to guide by experience and help with the practicalities that Motherhood brought. The days where a woman would have continuous support throughout her labour are unfortunately long gone. The reality is that few now know the midwife who delivers their baby- it is even often the case that because of shift changes the initial midwife who helps in labour will not be there for the delivery.
A doula offers support to the Mother through the whole childbirth experience and this continuity of care will enable the mother to feel more confident and relaxed during labour.
After birth, Mothers who have doulas are generally less anxious and depressed, have greater self esteem and feel more confident with their new baby.
"Giving birth is a life changing experience and one that every woman has the right to remember as a positive journey."