What is a doula?
Here is an excerpt from the DONA (Doulas of North America) website that explains doulas very well:
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.
Why should you use a doula? Studies have shown that women who have continual support through pregnancy and/or labor are more likely to have shorter labors, need less interventions, and have a more positive birth experience overall. (Please see this page for statistics - Evidence Based Birth - The Evidence for Doulas)
A doula will help and support you but will not replace your partner, your doctor/midwife, or other medical professional.
I do not: