doula is a professional birth companion
trained to provide continuous physical,
emotional and informational support to
the pregnant woman and her partner during
labor and delivery. Women who want to
give birth with minimal or no pain medication
often choose a doula to help them cope
with the pain of normal labor. If you
want to have an epidural or other pain
medication, you may want a doula for the
constant support during labor. Most doulas
make one or two home visits during the
last trimester of pregnancy and, if requested,
will come to your home in early labor
to help you avoid going to the hospital
Once in the hospital, the doula works
as part of the childbirth team, providing
a constant, calming presence, answering
questions and helping to explain medical
procedures that you may not understand.
She will show your birth partner ways
to support you and may use massage and
special tools and techniques and even
soothing music to help you cope with labor.
Some studies show that women who have
doulas have shorter labors, are less likely
to ask for epidurals and have lower rates
of Cesarean birth.
Click below to read about related topics.
What to Expect
Pain and Pain Relief
Premature Labor and