What is a DOULA?

(from the DONA Website)

The word, "doula," comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)

A doula...

Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life...

Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor...

Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth...

Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor...

Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions...

Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical careproviders...

Perceives her role as one who nutures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.

The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants.


Here are some Web sources relating to doulas and unmedicated childbirth...

DONA's Homepage
Welcome to Doulas of North America's Homepage. . DONA is the acronym for Doulas of North America, an international association of doulas who are trained to provide the highest quality labor support to birthing women and their families. ...

Do I Need a Doula? FAQ
I am a doula, so obviously I believe that most people need a doula, or someone who performs the functions that I do, on their team. That is my statement of bias. . I am certified by two different organizations, however, this will include as ...

Birth and Bonding International
Doula Trainings . Written and Maintained by Sabrina Cuddy . swnymph@fensende.com . Index . History . About Doulas . Doula Training . Palo Alto Center . History . In the United States, we have lost the sense of community we used to ...

Sabrina Cuddy's Pregnancy Page
Nicely organized source of info on parenting sites, women's health and pregnancy/birth resources.

Sabrina Cuddy's Personal Info
So, you wanna know about me... swnymph@fensende.com . My FAQs . I am a Bradley Method Childbirth Educator. (Here is a FAQ on Bradley) After teaching 2 years, I am proud of the 75% unmedicated birth rate among the couples I have taught! I have two ...

doula care homepage
This page is maintained as a service for expectant mothers, healthcare providers, childbirth assistants, doulas, and anyone concerned about the well-being of mothers and their infants. It explains the role of the doula and provides links to ...

ALACE
Last updated 7/8/95 by Donna Dolezal Zelzer, djz@efn.org . Information about ALACE . Suggested reading . The Professional Birth Assistant: . Your Partner in Achieving the Birth You Desire (about 20 k) . About ALACE . (1) ALACE ...

Professional Birth Assistant
Your Partner in Achieving . the Birth You Desire . by Mayri Sagady . Last updated 7/3/95 by Donna Dolezal Zelzer, djz@efn.org . Introduction . What is a Birth Assistant? . Who Uses a Birth Assistant? . What Does a Birth Assistant Do? . How ...

So, you want to be a Doula. FAQ
Topics included in this FAQ: . What is a doula? . What does it take to be a doula? . Training to be a doula. . Personal Stories . Books to Read . What is a doula? . The term doula is Greek for slave or servant. Doulas ...

Midwifery-related e-mail addresses
Last updated 12/16/95 by Donna Dolezal Zelzer, djz@efn.org . Here's a very short and incomplete list of midwifery organizations, publications, schools, and some other health-related entities that have e-mail addresses. For e-mail addresses of ...

Breastfeeding and Parenting Resources
This really long page, which will soon be a number of smaller pages, features links to the following kinds of information: . east-central Illinois resources on breastfeeding, . places on the Internet that focus on ...

Motherheart - Birth, Children & Parenting
It is as children that we are first taught fear, inadequacy, limitation and self-denigration. These then lead to distrust in a fear-based life. Nurturing new beings from the moment they take soul in the womb is vital to the health ...

Infants and babies
To Your Online Birth Center . Infants, Babies and Small Children . Resources for parents-to-be, as well as parents of infants and small children. . Pregnancy and Birth . Birth alternatives . Birth Stories . Nutrition and Pregnancy ...

The Childbirth Kit
Table of Contents . Cards for the Phases of Labor . Excerpt from the Introduction to The Childbirth Kit . How to Order . Table of Contents . Cards for the Phases of Labor . Preface . Acknowledgements . Opening . A Wellspring of ...

UK complementary and Alternative Health Societies and Associations
UK complementary Therapy Societies and Associations . A service from . We know this is not yet a full list, So:- . To be included in this page contact graham@fragrant.demon.co.uk . Inclusion in this list DOES NOT imply any acceptance ...

Pitocin FAQ
Pitocin is another very controversial topic in childbearing today. Oxytocin is a natural hormone produced by a woman's body (There are several ways that this is done, that we will discuss later.) that cause uterine contractions. Pitocin ...

Midwifery Today list of e-mail addresses-intro
Your Online Birth Center Midwifery Today . The Homebirth Choice . Midwifery Today's . Directory of E-mail Addresses . Version 95.12, December 10, 1995 . 264 names, 70 new, 3 updates . E-mail addresses of midwives, CNM's, MD's, naturopaths, ...

Alternative Birthing Practices
The Ultimate Mother's Belly Oil . "Mother's give birth to our future" . An ever growing alternative information guide . to the birthing experience, including . links, articles, and products . Birthing Information Goods, & ...

Baby Talk and All That Jazz
Help For New Mums and Dads . Hints on breast feeding, when baby wont stop crying, Oh no the baby blues, baby products and more. . Communicating . Parents share the Birthing Experience . Mothers and Fathers talk about birthing ...

Midwifery
Contents . Introduction . Resources . Midwifery Resources. . Email Contacts . Conferences and Calls for Submissions . Gopher/WWW/USENET/WAIS Services . Home Birth and Other Birth Methods . The Homebirth Choice Another midwife page ...

Parenting Book Recommendations FAQ
last updated July 1995 . Here you can read the misc.kids Parenting Resources FAQ. In exchange, please consider making a contribution of your own to it, if you have any strong feelings on this subject. Please send me information on any books you ...


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