What is a Doula

It has been established in the recent past that more women prefer to use doulas when they are about to give birth. But not so many people are aware of what or who a doula is. This article is written to enlighten you the reader on what a doula is. In the most basic definition, a doula is one who attends to a woman who is about to give birth and mainly provides support and comfort to the woman during the period of giving birth. This should not be confused with a midwife, who is actually the person who helps the lady with birth.

The history behind this name has been found to go back into Greek culture. In fact, in the Greek culture, the word actually translates to a woman who personally attends to another woman. This was the Greek culture, where a woman would specifically serve another woman who was about to give birth. In our current day living, there are mainly 2 types of doulas. There is the postpartum doula and the birth doula.

As the name suggests, the birth doula attends to a woman in labor. While a woman is giving birth, this kind of doula will support the other by giving both support and comfort. Such kinds of doulas are professionally trained. Some go to the extent of getting certified in labor support; this doesn’t mean that they have the necessary medical skills. With this in mind, it means that they don’t provide any medical assistance or advice. Theirs is mostly moral, emotional and physical support during childbirth.

Postpartum doulas usually take over from the birth doulas. These are the ones who take care and provide support, both physical and emotional, to the mother after giving birth. They can be compared to post natal counselors as they advice and even answer questions the mother may have about taking care of the baby. In other instances, the postpartum doula will do shopping for groceries and also for the newborn as the mother rests and nurses the child.

A number of studies that have been done have showed that by having a doula present during child birth, the number of medications used for pain relief were much less.  The study also noted that caesarian births were less and that mothers had a more positive approach to childbirth.

Some doulas have mastered the power of massage and touch, which greatly reduces anxiety and stress during labor. With this information, you may want to get a doula for a friend or family member who is about to give birth.